Steven Adams will be eligible for the 2012 NBA Draft.
But the 7-footer will spend next year at Notre Dame Prep after graduating from Scots College in New Zealand before heading to Pittsburgh for the 2012-13 season.
“He’s coming to our school,” Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd told SNY.tv by phone. “We’re excited to have him here next year.”
Hurd hasn’t seen Adams play in person, but he’s watched enough on tape to know that he’s getting a future pro.
At the recent adidas Nations event in Los Angeles, Adams put up 12 points and 20 rebounds in one game, and 37 points and 14 rebounds in another. He averaged 22 points, 16.8 rebounds and two assists through four games.
In a matchup with fellow 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, Adams posted 20 points, 24 rebounds and four assists, while holding Tarczewski to 10 points and four boards.
“He’s tremendous,” said Chris Rivers of adidas, who was the assistant coach to Alex English on Adams’ Asia team. “He’s very Greg Oden-like from 2005.
“He runs, he blocks shots up by the square, he finishes with both hands. He’s a competitor, a true team player.
“He has tremendous attitude. His team lost every game and it didn’t phase him. He went hard every time down the court.”
Rivers said Adams is more than your average shot-blocker.
“He’s like a basket protector,” Rivers said. “He blocks shosts because it’s like, ‘Nothing’s going in my basket.'”
Rivers, who used to run the famed ABCD Camp with Sonny Vaccaro, said Adams is at least as good as the heralded big men in the Class of 2012 — Andre Drummond, Isaiah Austin, DaJuan Coleman and Tarczewski.
“If he was here in the States, he’d be in that same conversation with those other three or four big guys in the country,” Rivers said.
As for Hurd, his team next year already includes the nucleus of uncommitted wing Ricky Ledo, Xavier commit Myles Davis, Sam Cassell Jr. and 6-2 Chicago shooting guard Adonis Filer.
Now he’s adding one of the premier big men at that age in the world.
“He has the ability to get up and down the floor with our guards, which is what we’re looking for with a big,” Hurd said.
“It’s hard to find a kid that size who can be a part of the play in prep school basketball. His ability to get up and down the floor is going to be a huge asset.”
Adams will be a huge asset for Pitt coach Jamie Dixon beginning in 2012, too.
Adams will join fellow Notre Dame Prep alum Khem Birch, a Canadian who was named a McDonald’s All-American last season, along with current freshman shot-blocker Malcolm Gilbert.
“In high level Division 1 basketball, you need those bigs to survive,” Hurd said.
“[Coach Dixon] is going to have two incredibly skilled guys who can go get the ball.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.