Pittsburgh’s New Zealand Giant

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Steven Adams is ready to start his college career this season.  Although he verbally committed to Pittsburgh in 2010, he has a long road before his expected graduation date from Scots College Prep in Wellington, New Zealand in December.

Last January, Adams started playing for Notre Dame Prep in Fitchuburg, Massachusetts. He played for New Zealand junior teams, but came to America to get adjusted and become academically eligible. Adams started playing for Norte Dame Prep because it’s always easier to become eligible to play college ball from a United States prep school than to rely on transcripts from another country. Also, NCAA rules allow players to compete for a professional team provided that they do not get paid.

This year Adams also played for Team Asia in the 2012 Adidas Nations Tournament. He led the tournament in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 22 PPG and 16.8 RBG. In 2011, he competed in the New Zealand National Basketball League, playing for the Wellington Exodus Saints. He helped lead the Saints to a NBL championship over Hawke’s Bay, averaging 5.5 PPG, 4.1 RBG.

If you are not impressed with Adam’s credentials, maybe you’ll be impressed knowing the kid is 7 feet tall. He’s a versatile athlete and can score with the best. He’s remembered in New Zealand for once putting up 61 points against Sam Houston State for a Kiwi traveling all-star team.

Adams spent the last few months playing summer basketball in Pittsburgh and is now enrolled for the fall. He’s really excited to be a Panther and loving the experience.

“It’s fun…It gets pretty wild, but I find it cool…This part of the town, it’s a city and campus put together,” says Adams.

Although the New Zealand star is a great player, he admits he still needs to improve on his low-post game. He favors facing up defenders, rather than plowing through the post.  Adams is his ultimate critic and is always trying to improve on every aspect of his game.

“He’s a very good rebounder, he’s a good passer and he’s very unselfish,” says Jamie Dixon, coach of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh won the CBI last season but missed the NCAA tournament for the first time. Although last season was rough for the Panthers, they are optimistic with the return of Tray Woodall, who came off an injury-plagued season and Central Michigan transfer Trey Zeigler. The Panthers are also excited for freshman James Robinson, which is believed to be a great addition to Pittsburgh already dangerous team.


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