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Nike Hoop Summit Player Profile: James McAdoo

02/10/11
  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 4.5

    A two-time USA gold medalist and a member of the five-person 2010 All-FIBA U17 World Championship Tournament Team, James McAdoo is certain to be a valuable member of another USA squad when he takes the floor for the red, white and blue in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit on April 9 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

    The 6’8” forward from Norfolk Christian High School in Virginia made history when he became the youngest-ever recipient of the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year award in 2009, after averaging 16.8 points, a team second-best 8.6 rebounds and a team-high 2.0 blocks per game to help the USA collect gold at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Argentina.

    He returned the following summer to help the USA to gold in the inaugural 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany. Starting in all eight games and averaging 14.5 points and team-highs of 7.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, McAdoo was one of five players named to the all-tournament team.

    His high school career has been no less successful, with McAdoo averaging 22.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in 2009-10 to help Norfolk Christian to a 26-4 record and the 2010 Virginia Independent Schools (VIS) Division II state title. McAdoo was honored as the VIS Division II State Tournament MVP and named the VIS Division II and Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year.

    With Norfolk off to a 10-6 start in 2010-11 (as of Jan. 26), McAdoo said his goal for his senior season is to not only repeat as state champs, but also to make his teammates better. There was a time, however, when he considered an early exit for North Carolina. Academically eligible to forgo his senior year and become a Tar Heel in 2010-11, McAdoo talked with USABasketball.com about why he chose North Carolina in the first place and why he’s glad he waited.

    What made North Carolina a good fit for you?
    Well one thing is coach Roy Williams and his staff, they really made me feel at home when I went down there. And I feel that they kind of showed me the big picture and where I would fit into the program. I think I will really be able to help contribute to the team immediately – that’s one thing that really stuck out for me. And it’s really close to my home. My dad is from Carolina and his whole side of the family is literally like 10 minutes from the campus. And it’s only like a three-hour drive from my house, so it’s really nice, not too close.

    Speaking of contributing immediately, you considered joining North Carolina this season rather than playing your senior year of high school basketball. How did you make that decision?
    I definitely had the opportunity, and it was something that I thought about and prayed about for a long time. I just felt like God wanted me to stay for my senior year. It was definitely a great opportunity, but I haven’t really thought about it twice since. It’s always weird when we’ll be watching the games and someone will bring it up. Yeah, I could have been out there, but I don’t really think about it all. I made the decision right before I left for Germany with the USA team. No second thoughts.

    This team will be different from your past USA Basketball squads because you’ll be together for less than a week. What do you know about the Nike Hoop Summit?
    I know it comes on TV, but I’ve never watched it before. I know it’s the top seniors from the States against top players from all over the world.

    Seven of your former USA teammates will be suiting up alongside you. Are you looking forward to reconnecting with them?
    I think it will be a lot of fun seeing all of my friends after our high school seasons are done. We went through so much together already, and this is just another chapter in the book where we are able to add to our legacy with USA Basketball.

    What do you expect to face from the World Team in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit?
    The things that sticks out to me about international basketball are how physical they play and how fundamentally sound they are. They are really disciplined in what they do. So, I know that the international team will have that going, and I know that they will be the best of the best. I don’t think they’ll be as disciplined as some of the countries we played against, just because they won’t have as much time to train together. I look for them to come out really strong.

    What do you think of international rules? Is there an international rule you’d like to see the high school game adopt?
    I really like it. The difference between high school and international is a lot of fun for me just because of the physicality. They let you play through a lot more, and that allows you get the ball out and run up and down the court a lot more. And I think it’s a lot easier on defense for me personally because international teams like to run a lot of set offenses.

    I’d like to see the goal-tending rule here in the States, how you can take the ball off the rim. That’s definitely a lot of fun. It was really hard to get used to, and by the time I got used to it, we had won the gold medal. I think that’d be a really cool rule to bring back here.

    What is your favorite training routine or drill?
    I really love to get on the Toss Back and just put up shots. That’s definitely my favorite thing to do.

    What is your least favorite training routine or drill?
    Anything that involves running. I hate running without a basketball.

    Where is the most room for improvement in your game?
    Probably my defense. Knowing that I will probably be a small forward or power forward in college and then maybe wherever I go down the road, whatever God has in store, maybe a small forward if I make it to the NBA. I really just need to be able to guard four positions, which is something that I’m really not the best at, but it’s something that I’m trying to take more pride in and pick it up on the defensive end of the court.

    Who do you most like to be compared to?
    A lot of people compare me to guys like Antawn Jamison and Marvin Williams. Those are just guys who played for North Carolina that just come off the top of my head. I think I’m really unique in that I do a lot of different things. Being so tall, I’m very versatile. I just like to tell people I’m a basketball player.

    You play a lot of basketball, obviously. What helps you stay motivated?
    Probably everything I do outside of basketball. I just try to hang out with my friends as much as possible and just really get my mind off of basketball when I’m not either working out, practicing or playing in a game. That really helps my attitude toward the game.

    How would you like to finish your high school season?
    We won our conference and state last year, and I think we can do that again. Unless something crazy happens, we will get a chance again this year. My goal is to help our team live up to our expectations and to help my teammates get better, hopefully get some of them scholarships and help them fulfill their dreams.

    Article courtesy of USABasketball.com
    Click here to watch James McAdoo's video highlights

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