Get to know Essence Carson
Take an inside look at Liberty forward and musician Essence Carson.
As a child, Carson was torn between her love of basketball and music. In the biography on her personal website, Carson said she's spent her life "striking a skillful balance between her affinity for music and basketball. Ever since I was young those two went hand in hand."
Carson attended Rosa L. Parks School of the Fine and Performing Arts in her hometown of Paterson, New Jersey where she majored in piano and minored in instrumental music. Since the school didn’t have an athletic program, Carson played basketball at Eastside High School where she became a McDonald’s All-American in 2004. Carson was also an all-state volleyball player and state track champion in the 400 meters, which she didn’t start running until her senior year.
Carson averaged 9.5 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game in her four-year career at Rutgers. She was a senior captain and was also named Big East Defensive Player of the Year three times and first team All-Big East in her senior season.
In 2007, legendary coach Vivian C. Stringer led Rutgers to the Final Four where they beat LSU, 59-35, in the national semifinals. Rutgers lost the title game to Pat Summit’s University of Tennessee Volunteers, 59-46.
During the 2007 Final Four run, radio personality Don Imus made inflammatory remarks on his WFAN show about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. He was eventually fired for the comments. Following the incident, Carson(center) did interviews on Good Morning America, Oprah and Larry King Live. “I would like to express our team’s great hurt, anger and disgust toward the words of Mr. Don Imus,” she said.
In 2008, the 6-foot, 183 pound Carson was drafted 7th overall by the Liberty in the 2008 WNBA draft. Carson plays internationally during the WNBA offseason and is a current member of a Hungarian team. She is the second highest scorer in the country.
Carson had a major breakthrough in 2011 when she made her first career All-Star team as an Eastern Conference reserve. She averaged a career-high of 11.3 points per game despite starting just five games.
Carson is a recording artist under the name Pr3pe, pronounced "preppy", which is also her Twitter handle. She has two singles on iTunes, "Love Letter" and "Hater." She also produces music for various artists.
Carson, who minored in music at Rutgers, plays the drums, saxophone, piano and bass guitar. Her favorite singer is Mariah Carey.