Carl Wilmer in action on UNA’s 1991 Division II national championship basketball team.
{Photo by UNA}

Carl Wilmer speaks at his induction into the University of North Alabama’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 13. {Photo by UNA}

Carl Wilmer named to North Alabama Hall of Fame

Marksville native was key player on 1991 national champion team

In 1990, Carl Wilmer was sinking baskets and earning a degree at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama. That same year, UNA established its Athletic Hall of Fame to honor its standout student athletes.

This year that young star hoopster is a middle-aged man who was honored by his alma mater with induction into the Lions’ Hall of Fame.

Wilmer, a Marksville native who still lives in the Hickory Hill community, and three other UNA athletes joined 130 Lion standouts from years past on Oct. 13.

“I never imagined myself in the position of being considered for the Hall of Fame,” Wilmer said. “It is an honor I will cherish the rest of my life. It is truly a blessing and made me realize how good God is.”

Wilmer currently works for Hexion Specialty Chemical in Alexandria. He coached at Holy Ghost and at Marksville High. He also worked as an administrative host at Paragon Casino Resort.

“I started playing basketball at Holy Ghost,” Wilmer said. “I went to Marksville High and played under Coach Gene Alford. Coach Alford attended the Hall of Fame ceremony.

“It was Coach Alford who came to me in my freshman year and taught me how to play defense,” Wilmer continued. “That is when I began loving this game of basketball.”

Wilmer started for UNA in 1990 and 1991. He was a key figure in leading the Lions to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1991. He was selected to the All-Gulf South Conference team and to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team in 1990-91.

He averaged 15.3 points per game on a team that went 29-4. His 57.4 percent accuracy rate for goals was the highest on the team and he was the Lions’ second leading scorer.

Wilmer also joined the “500 Point Club” with 505 points in 1991.

In his college career he played in 43 games, averaging 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He was 56.4 percent from the floor and 66.6 percent from the free throw line.

Wilmer said the key to the Lions’ success in 1991 was unselfish teamwork.

“All of us were stars on other teams, but we quickly realized there was only one basketball and we had to share it,” he said. “We just fed whoever had the hot hand. We had a bunch of great players, so teams were not able to key on one person if we played together. Nobody cared who scored the most points or got the most rebounds. We just wanted to win.”

The degree he was pursuing while also chasing basketballs was in Criminal Justice.

His son, Carl Wilmer Jr., is playing football at Grambling State University. His daughter, Roslyn Wilmer, played basketball at Louisiana College, coached girls basketball at Marksville High and is now coaching girls basketball at Peabody Magnet in Alexandria.

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