Carlton Aaron (born 3 November 1979 in New York City, New York, United States) is an American professional basketball player who most recently was signed to the Guildford Heat in the British Basketball League.
The 6'9", 300 lb center attended the University of Missouri–Kansas City, and began his professional career when he signed for local club Kansas City Steers in 2005. However, after one season with the Steers, Aaron made the bold move to Europe, where he signed for leading British team Plymouth Raiders in September 2005.
His rookie season with the Raiders was dogged by a recurring ankle injury, but Aaron returned for the following season slimer and fully fit, after declining an offer from an undisclosed European team. His game rapidly improved and within a month of his sophomore season, Aaron received the recognition he deserved. Aaron claimed the Molten Player of the Month award for November 2006, after leading Raiders on a six-game winning streak in the BBL Championship, and thus reaching the summit of the league table for the first time in their history.
With a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, Aaron was awarded the MVP for Raiders’ 74-65 win over Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Trophy Final on 4 March 2007. It was the first time Raiders had won a top-flight title in their history, made all the more sweeter as Newcastle, the favourites for the clash, were playing with home court advantage. The previous week Raiders, playing without an injured Aaron, had lost on the road to Eagles 99-75, thus outlining Aaron’s importance to the starting five.
Aaron finished the BBL regular season as he league's top rebounder, averaging 12.43 boards-per-game, and was voted into the league's All-Star First Team, finishing fourth in the overall vote. In May 2007, following Raiders' quarter-final exit from the BBL Playoffs, Aaron returned to the USA where he signed a two-month contract with former-International Basketball League champions, Battle Creek Knights, from Michigan.
In July 2007, Aaron attended the Korean Basketball League draft try-outs in Las Vegas, however having not made the necessary impact, he was signed by Guildford Heat. He had previously expressed his desire to return to Plymouth, but this was ended when the Raiders signed Terrence Durham as Aaron's replacement, due to his lack of commitment.
Several weeks later, Aaron signed for Raiders' title-rivals Guildford Heat, who required a proven 'big man' to lead them into their European debut in the ULEB Cup. Aaron's competitive debut in a Heat vest ironically came on a road trip against his former club Raiders, in the first of a two-game series in the inaugural BBL Cup Winners' Cup. Upon entering his former home arena, he was greeted by a mixed reaction of applause and jeers from a partisan crowd at the Plymouth Pavilions.
Despite reduced minutes compared to previous seasons, Aaron still posted some consistent numbers domestically in the BBL, including 12.44 points per-game (and a lowly 6.2 rebounds by his standards), the dominating Centre couldn't adapt to the European game and struggled in each of his appearances in the ULEB Cup. In 39:10 minutes of ULEB play, Aaron mustered only 4 points, including the franchise's first ever 2 points in European competition, a lay-up in the 84-68 away defeat to KK Bosna.
It was announced on November 19 that Carlton had parted company with Guildford by mutual consent and was free to seek a new team. It later emerged that BBL rookie franchise Birmingham Panthers had attempted to sign the him, but was significantly priced out of budget by Aaron's wage demands. The deal fell through.