Adams opts for LA over Tall Blacks' tour or school

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2011
SCHOOLBOY STAR: Steve Adams had a promising debut in the NBL season for the Saints.
CHRIS SKELTON/Dominion Post
LA: Rising NZ talent Steve Adams will be in Los Angeles this week at an elite basketball tournament.

Relevant offers

Basketball

Important buildup work ahead for NZ Breakers Boomer Ingles expected to sign with Clippers World champion USA 'can lose our next game' USA win basketball World Cup in one-sided final Tall Blacks keeping tabs on ex coach Baldwin French settle for bronze at Basketball World Cup Tall Blacks coach's decision a long time coming USA superstars march on at FIBA World Cup Spain upset at its own basketball World Cup Dream Basketball World Cup final edges closer

Steve Adams is a young man in demand.

Tall Blacks coach Nenad Vucinic wanted him on tour in China and Europe, the teachers at Scots College wanted him to stay home and hit the books, but instead the 2.1m teenager is with mentor Kenny McFadden in Los Angeles this week at an elite basketball tournament.

Wellington Saints legend McFadden says the decision to attend the adidas Nations tournament was a compromise between the Adams' camp and Scots.

Adams needs to keep his grades up to ensure a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh next year, and touring with the Tall Blacks would have meant five weeks off school.

Instead, he will miss just one as he suits up for the Asia region – as he did last year – in a series of games against some of the world's best 18-and-under talent.

NBA players Josh Smith, Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon and former players and coaches Mike Dunleavy, Alex English and Detlef Schrempf will tutor the aspiring pros.

"They have a student-athlete theme to it, with guest speakers and mentors that come in and help out with education and life skills and time management," McFadden said from LA.

"So it's a huge opportunity for him to get mixed up with these boys but also get some off-court experience as well."

McFadden said Adams, the National Basketball League rookie of the year, was disappointed Scots had prevented him making his Tall Blacks debut but he understood the rationale behind the decision. Adams was on track with his schoolwork but motivation was a constant battle.

"He's not the brightest student and he's trying to catch up on a lot of schooling. He's not out of the hot water yet but what we hope is, when we do come back, his motivation to want to go to this damn school [Pittsburgh] will be a lot higher," McFadden said.

"If you don't pass your SAT tests and do your studies back in New Zealand, then there's no way in the world – I don't care if you're Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant – they're going to let you into the school."

Porirua's Jordan Ngatai is also at the LA tournament, with McFadden hopeful he will attract the interest of an American university.

Breaker Isaac Fotu was also invited but will instead fly out with the Tall Blacks today for the Stankovic Cup in China.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

What did you make of the Tall Blacks' World Cup campaign?

They did NZ proud making it past the first round.

They finished about where I expected they would.

I'm disappointed. They had a good team and should have gone further.

Tall Blacks? Who cares. Bring on the Breakers.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content