Ako Adams stays focused during his recruiting journey

Update (9/5/2015): Ako Adams has signed to Rice.

When asked about how many Division I schools have shown interest in him so far, Ako Adams had to stop and think for a second before giving his answer.

No one can really blame Adams for momentarily pausing before coming up with the number, though. The 6’3” junior point guard from Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia, has a pretty long line of suitors.

Charlotte, DePaul, Richmond, Rutgers, Towson, Old Dominion, George Washington and Lehigh are among the schools looking to add the smooth lefty guard to their team, with other schools like Georgetown and Virginia Tech also evaluating him, he said. However, Adams does his best not to let the hectic recruiting process distract him too much.

“I just try to stay on my game while the season is going on,” Adams said, fresh off of a shooting workout despite having a game earlier in the day. “Of course there’s always something: coaches calling or at my games. But I just try to stay focused.”

Whatever Adams is doing to block out the noise seems to be working. The junior from Washington, D.C., is averaging 16.7 points per game for a 20-11 squad that plays in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), one of the nation’s toughest high school basketball conferences.

Adams said he has been so successful in part because of his ability to stay composed on the court no matter the situation. He described himself as someone who is “always under control,” a trait that any terrific point guard cannot thrive without.

“I’m laid back out there, very calm,” he said. “But of course, I’m competitive, too. I like to beat people.”

His outstanding numbers and bright future notwithstanding, Adams knows he has some things to work on if he hopes to succeed at the next level. Being a dominant high school player is one thing, but flourishing at a Division I school is another.

Ako Adams drives the lane in a game against DeMatha Catholic High School. Picture provided by Ako Adams.
Ako Adams drives the lane in a game against DeMatha Catholic High School. Picture provided by Ako Adams.

“I need to be even more of a leader than I have been this year,” Adams explained. “I also need to get stronger and work on my explosiveness. Basically anything to be a better overall point guard.”

While Adams knows what schools are seriously recruiting him, as well as what he needs to improve on, he has not set a date for his decision, nor has he begun limiting the teams down, he said.

Adams knows what he wants in a school, though. He said he is looking for a place with “a great coach and a great atmosphere.”

“Just somewhere that I can call home, and a team I can make into a family,” he said.

When his junior season with Bishop O’Connell wraps up, Adams will remain on the hardwood, playing AAU for the DC Thunder, he said. He will spend his spring and summer playing in various tournaments and hopes to continue to make a name for himself, he added.

No matter where he is playing, there is no doubt Adams will have a lot of eyes on him, especially with the way point guards are valued in today’s college game. Eventually, someone will get lucky and land themselves a player who can really score, run an offense and lead a team; it is just a matter of finding out whom.

Peter Hailey
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Peter Hailey

Recruiting Writer at The Left Bench
Peter is a junior at the University of Maryland. A native of Rockville, MD, he went to Rockville High School, where he started his journalistic career working for the nationally acclaimed Rockville Rampage. He has also interned for Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic in Bethesda, MD and runs his own DC sports blog called Barely in Bounds. Peter is relentlessly dedicated to DC sports teams, and is especially attached to the Redskins. He calls his old Toyota Camry "RGIII" because it shouldn't run as much as it does, and he has seen every Sean Taylor highlight video on the internet. He hopes to one day witness his team win a Super Bowl.
Peter Hailey
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About Peter Hailey 24 Articles
Peter is a junior at the University of Maryland. A native of Rockville, MD, he went to Rockville High School, where he started his journalistic career working for the nationally acclaimed Rockville Rampage. He has also interned for Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic in Bethesda, MD and runs his own DC sports blog called Barely in Bounds. Peter is relentlessly dedicated to DC sports teams, and is especially attached to the Redskins. He calls his old Toyota Camry "RGIII" because it shouldn't run as much as it does, and he has seen every Sean Taylor highlight video on the internet. He hopes to one day witness his team win a Super Bowl.