Monday, June 30, 2014

Jalen Adams commits to UConn

Less than a week after another talented, clutch guard from UConn via Roxbury was selected in the fist round of the NBA Draft, another has chosen to take his talents to Storrs.

Jalen Adams, a Class of 2015 guard, announced on Twitter on Monday that he'll be attending UConn.

Just got off the phone with Adams, and here's some of what he had to day:

(why UConn?)

"Just the style of play, the coaching staff. I felt like the coaching staff had my best interests at heart.
(on comparisons to Shabazz Napier)

"There's definitely a few similarities, but I think I need to incorporate some of the things he does into my game ... I need to become a better leader, like a floor general."

Adams said he's met Napier a few times, but it was before Napier was even at UConn, just in the gyms around Roxbury.

(his best attributes)

"Getting to the basket, scoring and creating for others."

Adams and his parents were at UConn on Sunday for an unofficial, and the decision was basically made on their drive back to Boston.

Adams' coach for the Mass Rivals AAU team, Vin Pastore, has nothing but great things to say about the kid.

"First of all, he's a dynamic guard that has many different gears of speed and athleticism that's off the charts. And he scores the basketball in a variety of ways, the way only the elite of the elite do. He can score from long range, he's got a pull-up jumper. But best of all, when he gets it in the lane, he can fly over the top of you or spin in any different way to get to the rim. And one way or another, the ball always seems to find its way to the basket."

Pastore said Adams is about 6-foot-2, but with a 6-6 1/2 wingspan.

"As a kid, he's a super kid. He's got great leadership qualities, great smile and personality. He's got that type of charm that makes you fall in love with him right away. A lot of personality. Just an exceptional kid with a great track record."

Pastore said Adams never visited Louisville or Kansas, the two other schools most interested in him.

"I think it's a childhood dream for him to go to UConn. The style of play, the speed of play, the way they play. Kevin Ollie playing in the NBA, his personality, the way he connected with Jalen. And the fact that he played in the NBA, he has a pretty good idea what it takes to get to the NBA. Shabazz would have been the cherry on top. He is from the same town, same place."

Barry Connors, Adams' coach at Cushing Academy, was similarly complimentary of him when I spoke with him a couple of months ago.

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