Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
PHILADELPHIA — At 6 feet, 10 1/2 inches and 265 pounds, Adonis Delarosa is one of the largest young men here at the Reebok Breakout Challenge.
Delarosa, 16, is drawing interest from some high-major coaches in part because of the player he is now, but mostly because of the player he could be down the road.
“I like his skill set but his body needs a little work,” one high-level assistant coach said after watching Delarosa Thursday.
Walter McCarty, the former Knick and Kentucky star, is coaching Delarosa here and said the Christ the King junior big man reminds him of former NBA center Oliver Miller.
“He actually has a very good post game and he’s very knowledgable down there,” McCarty told SNY.tv. “He’s a great passer out of the post. I think once he starts to mature and starts to lose a lot of weight, he’s going to get more lift. But he has great footwork to be as big as he is.”
McCarty added: “He reminds me a little bit of Oliver Miller because he can do a lot of things at his size. He just needs to lose a little bit of weight…But he’s a great kid who plays hard.”
Ah, yes, his weight.
Delarosa said he weighed about 310 pounds last season at Christ the King, but has shed more than 40 pounds by eating better.
“During the school year I was a little overweight,” he said. “And they slimmed me down to the 200s. I couldn’t eat fried foods at lunch. Drink a lot of water. Stay away from soda.
“It’s easy because once you have all the other stuff like Gatorade that you can use instead of soda, then it becomes easier.”
He added: “I’m still young, there’s a lot of baby fat on me, but as this summer when I go back home I’m going to be working out with the coaches at my school, individual stuff, go to the track.”
All of that work has helped him run the floor better than he could before, when he struggled to get up and down.
Delarosa has also trained with the Dominican Republic U18 under coach Oliver Antigua and alongside St. Joe’s-Metuchen star Karl Towns, who ended up making the Dominican Senior National team under head coach John Calipari.
So far, Delarosa says his only offer is from Drexel, but he has received interest from Memphis, Tennessee, George Mason, Pittsburgh, Miami, Providence and Hofstra.
“I’m a back-to-the basket player but my face-up game,” he said, “if you leave me open I can hit the shot.”
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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.