It has been a long, hard road for one of the state's top rated prospects. After blowing up to a Top-30 national ranking after his sophomore season, 6-foot-9 prep post Andre Adams realized that his academic struggles would come into play at some point. As a result, Adams began to generate loads of college recruiting interest from many college programs across the country. With Adams needing to get it done a great deal in the classroom to even have a chance to qualify academically for the future, Adams began to work tirelessly in the classroom to improve his academic situation.
With many doubters believing that he could get it done, Adams believed in himself enough to begin the process of working hard, inside and outside of the classroom, to achieve his dreams of playing division-I basketball. With the help of his mother, Shannon Johnson, his club coach Gino Crump, and his high school coaches and academic advisor at the school, Adams began his pursuit of restoring his academic situation in preparation for division-I athletics.
Adams would work day and night to restore his academic profile and to increase his overall GPA, while also looking to make up past classwork in the process.
"It was really difficult," said Shannon Johnson. "It became really tough throughout hte process, but he got it done."
While unable to qualify academically as a senior, Adams would have to watch as his 2014 classmates and club teammates went to many colleges across the country.
Adams would be considered as the top available unsigned post prospect in the country by many national scouting services and media outlets across the country during the spring of 2014. After taking his time in reaching a decision for his future, and also looking over his recruiting options and awaiting a report on his academic progress, Adams made his decision to attend an elite-level prep school in Florida - electing to attend a post-graduate year at IMG Academy in Florida for the 2014-2015 school year.
IMG Academy is widely known nationally for developing some of the nation's elite level high school prospects, as the program has very impressive facilities and resources for their athletes.
Adams had worked extremely hard over the past two years to raise his academic performance through the help of a village, as his club and high school coaching staff and family members gave him a lot of inspiration along the way. After posting good grades as a senior, Adams raised his overall core GPA grade average, and now just needed a test score from the SAT/ACT college entrance examination to become eligible for division-I athletics.
While Adams was off to an excellent year and was in the process of realizing a major boost in his college recruitment, Adams suffered a torn ACL knee injury during a dunk on a fast break early in the season. The injury would cause Adams to miss the remainder the high school season.
While working hard now on recovering from the knee injury and also still trying to qualify academically, Adams had to do all of his hard work on and off the basketball court while living completely across the country and being away from home for the first time in his life.
While Adams was recovering from the injury this season, he refocused his energy on his academics and was able to make up some important classwork and concentrate a great deal on his SAT/ACT test score, still needing a passing test score to become an NCAA academic qualifier. After three tough years of working hard to improve his academic performance, while working tirelessly to overcome a bad start to his high school career academically, Adams improved his overall GPA enough to put him in contention to become an academic qualifier.
All Adams would need would be a passing test score on his SAT or ACT college entrance examination. Recently, after receiving test scores that were not good enough, Adams and his family received a passing test score - an amazing accomplishment for his young man.
"It is so wonderful," said Shannon Johnson. "He worked so hard for this and I am so proud of him and all hat he has accomplished. It was really tough for him (Andre) at times, but he never gave up."
Now with a passing test score, Adams immediately became a high-major target for many college programs across the country.
With the opportunity to go to many college programs, including Texas, Marquette, Memphis, Wake Forest, USC, UNLV, San Diego State and Grand Canyon, just to name a few, Andre chose to return home to the state of Arizona and be close to his family once again, giving a verbal commmitment to the Arizona State Sun Devils and new head coach Bob Hurley.
"I'm beyond blessed," said Andre Adams after his commitment.
I have been evaluating top basketball prospects now for 20+ years, and one evaluation that is the most difficult to evaluate is a player's heart and determination. Andre Adams has it and that one factor is what takes players a long way - allowing them to make strides and achieve things that you cannot put on a scouting report. This story for Adams is far from finished, but it is one that is very inspirational for many.
Recruiting Notes: An almost unknown prospect before the beginning of the 2012 AAU/club season, Adams emerged as one of the elite young prospects in the West after a strong spring and summer two years ago. Since then, Adams has tried to maintain his national success and attention. The son of former NBA star guard Lewis Lloyd (Houston Rockets), Adams has a big-time future ahead of him, as he is very long and rangy and still growing a great deal. Adams’ serious length and versatility as a player are very intriguing for a post prospect and he is still growing into his body.
Unlike many top-rated prospects who, often times, peak early, Adams’ best years are well ahead of him. Possessing a thin, long frame, Adams has a left-handed shooting stroke and is capable of playing either with his back to the basket or while facing the basket out to three-point distance. He can put the basketball on the floor and get to the basket and finish strong, while also being an active rebounder and shotblocker that recovers quickly, and with excellent timing. Adams is currently at his best as a defensive stopper around the paint and has a striking resemblance as a player to former North HS and Arizona State product Tommie Smith.
Adams has developed a great deal physically over the past several years, and should become a special player for Bob Hurley and his staff over time. The hard work it took for this young man to develop academically, socially, and now physically will benefit him a great deal in his pursuit for the future.