STEVEN ADAMS DRAWS A CROWD IN PITTSBURGH DEBUT
By Lauren Kirschman
Steven Adams‘ abilities on the basketball court are unquestionable.
He’s 6-foot-11 and already built like a player headed for the NBA. In Notre Dame Prep’s 75-36 victory over Massanutten (Va.) Military Academy in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Legends Classic at Ambridge High School, he finished with 12 points 14 boards and three blocks. He showed exceptional body control and rebounding ability, while also impressing with his capability to run the floor.
He’s already being billed by Pitt fans as a “savior”.
But by talking to him, you wouldn’t know it. That might be the most impressive thing of all.
Adams seemed genuinely surprised to find a sizable cluster of reporters — some with recorders and other holding cameras — waiting for him outside Notre Dame Prep’s locker room.
“Usually it’s only two people or one person with a notepad,” he said. “No cameras or anything.”
One could say that Adams should probably get used to it, but a room full of reporters left the interview hoping that he doesn’t. In an age where most high-profile athletes come strapped with egos, Adams’ humbleness and honestly were refreshing.
“The difference is that a lot of the kids today get an opportunity to get accustomed to it over time,” Notre Dame Prep head coach Ryan Hurd said. “He walked off a plane and got slammed in the face with cameras. We were at the Pete yesterday and people were taking pictures of his feet … He’s so neat. You guys are going to love him and I think it’s a situation where he’s the kind of kid that the city can embrace if they choose to.”
Adams’ replies certainly kept the group chuckling.
Does he know a lot about the Big East?
Physical play, a reporter reminded him.
Does he have a roommate?
“No, I don’t. It gets quite lonely at night.”
As for Adams’ abilities on the court, Hurd said that center isn’t worried about living up to his one-and-done billing.
“For him personally, he’s not even thinking about that,” Hurd said. “He’s thinking about dinner right now…He’s just living in the now. He doesn’t understand all the hype and he doesn’t want to understand it and that’s what’s so pure and nice about him. He’ll stop and pick somebody off the floor after he knocks them over and we have to explain that that happens after the whistle.”
Adams definitely isn’t trying to be savior, Hurd added, he’s just trying to be Steve.
“He doesn’t care about any of this,” Hurd said. “He’s already forgotten about you guys and he’s on to the next thing we’re going to do. Soon he’ll be complaining about what time we’re getting up for the airplane.”
Adams said he’s adjusting well to the United States. His favorite part about his new country? The food, especially steak and cheese.
“I think the whole city [of Pittsburgh] is awesome, especially when you come out of the [Fort Pitt] tunnel,” he said. “That’s impressive.”
He visited the Petersen Events Center on Saturday for Pitt’s upset win over No. 9 Georgetown and came away with a fondness for the Oakland Zoo.
“It was quite intimidating because the Zoo’s crazy and I have to play in front of them next year,” he said.
Adams shouldn’t have any problem impressing Pitt’s students — both on the court and off.
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