New Zealand Rumors
Henare was hopeful the Rotorua native would be available for New Zealand at next month’s Asia Cup in Lebanon where the Tall Blacks will make their debut in the new look FIBA Asia zone. However, Henare opted to go with youth for the tournament, deciding not to select any American based player for the tournament and go with young talent playing in New Zealand. As Adams was not selected, the seven-footer’s next chance to don the black singlet for the first time will have to wait until next year’s June-July international window. “I sat down with him (Steven) a few weeks back and he had a look at the program over the next few years,” Henare told Newshub.
Meanwhile, Adams is currently in the Philippines to help promote the NBA 3v3 tournament this weekend and told Philippines website the Rappler that the time has to be right to represent his country. “Yeah, definitely. When the time is right, I may be suiting up,” he told reporters in Manila on Tuesday “We’re just talking about when’s a good time because they understand my commitments with the NBA. Obviously, that comes first.”
On the most recent episode of “The Sidelines Podcast,” FS1 college hoops insider Evan Daniels welcomed Jamie Dixon, Adams’ former coach at Pitt, to the show, and one of the main talking points was Adams. Born in New Zealand and the youngest of 18 siblings, Adams definitely has an interesting background. And it was thanks to Dixon’s connections to Adams’ family that he was first discovered (the full audio is above): “I knew his brothers, played against his brothers, played with his brothers, down there believe it or not. He had some brothers who were substantially older than him, and that’s how I knew about him. And his coach was also a guy I played with, so yeah, it was all about the relationship, knowing him and knowing his brothers.
Did Dixon know right away he had a future NBA player on his hands? “We knew how good he was. Other people didn’t know because he obviously didn’t play much in America. Big kids take a little bit longer. He’s in the perfect place [now in Oklahoma City]. It’s funny, it’s such a small world. He ends up getting drafted by Sam Presti, who is a really good friend, and his coach is Scott Brooks, who was a roommate of mine at TCU my freshman year. So it all goes round and round. “Everybody was kind of shocked he went that early in the draft. But I knew exactly where he was going, what team, because we had a number of conversations.”