PCA multi-sport star Caulder makes her mark in basketball

Palmetto Christian Academy senior Corey Caulder scored her 2,000th career point this week. She is averaging 24.9 points per game this season.

To say Corey Caulder likes to stay busy would be greatly understating the Palmetto Christian Academy senior's life.

When not posting excellent grades in the classroom, Caulder can be found doing some type of athletic activity, working and competing at a very high level.

Her father, Dewey Caulder, says Corey, the last of three daughters, has had a competitive spirit and work ethic from a very young age.

"Corey loves to compete, but not just go out and play, she works very hard at whatever she is trying to compete in," said Dewey, who is the director of tennis at the Family Circle Tennis Center.

"You don't have to push Corey to work. She is going to work hard because she really has a desire to be the best at whatever she does. She is a very gifted athlete, and I don't say that as a father but as a coach. She could be great at whatever sport she chose to focus on," he said.

And Corey Caulder has done a lot, excelling in tennis, golf, volleyball and basketball. This spring, she'll compete in track.

Due to her father's job and involvement in tennis, Caulder grew up with a racket in her hand. She played No. 1 singles for Palmetto Christian since her seventh-grade year. She is a four-time region player of the year and was a part of three state championship teams. She also was a state champion on the juniors circuit in her age division.

Caulder also is an above-average golfer, playing on the boys team for several years.

But, her unquestioned love is basketball. During her middle school years, Caulder began to focus more on basketball. She has spent extensive hours working with a personal trainer - former Citadel and NFL running back Travis Jervey - and spends hours in the gym working with local shooting coach James Lee.

"I can't begin to explain how much I love basketball," she said. "I always loved playing when I was younger and my passion just kept growing. Eventually, I stopped competing in tennis and golf and just decided to really focus on basketball."

Her commitment to basketball has certainly paid off. On Tuesday night, Caulder - already the school record- holder in points, assists and steals - scored her 2,000th career point.

She hit the mark on a buzzer-beating 35-foot bank shot for a 3-pointer to end the first half. She finished the game with 38 points.

"Honestly, I just threw it up, not really expecting it to go in. But it's really cool that it did go in for my 2,000th point," she said.

The 5-8 Caulder, who is currently averaging 24.9 points per game for PCA, spent last spring and summer as a member of the prestigious Palmetto 76'ers AAU team, one of the nation's top programs based out of Columbia. That experience put her on the radar of college coaches and Caulder will soon be deciding where to attend college.

"It's a lot of smaller schools, but I want to make sure I find the right match for me in terms of academics and basketball," she said.

"I want to play basketball as long as I can, but getting the education is really important as well. I would like to do something in the sports medicine area. I've been through physical therapy before and I really would like to be able to help athletes heal and recover from injuries."

Basketball, as Caulder knows, will end at some point. She plans to get the most out of the game while she can.

"It's why I compete and play so hard, because you never know when it's going to be over," said Caulder. "I just love the game. I want to play hard every night and do whatever it takes to win."