By Lisa DeRuiter
For Hometown News
January a year ago, Brevard Community College guard Louis Adams arrived in the U.S. from Senegal to play for East Mississippi College. It so happened that BCC head coach Jeremy Shulman was an assistant coach there at the time. A Division 1 coach had connected him with Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal Academy, which helps place the top players in Senegal to the United States.
When Coach Shulman received the job at BCC, he brought Mr. Adams with him to Brevard County.
Playing basketball in the United States has been an adjustment for Mr. Adams, who is the only international player on the BCC men's basketball team.
While it is difficult being away from his family who still lives in Senegal, Mr. Adams has developed a new basketball family in Brevard County. "[Coach Shulman] he's like my father now. My teammates, they are like my brothers ... they are so nice."
On the court, he has had to adjust from International Basketball Association Africa rules to National Junior College Athletic Association guidelines but Mr. Adams feels that, "I'm getting better every day. I'm learning a lot."
This summer, he had the extraordinary opportunity to travel to his home country of Senegal, Africa, to try out for the Senegalese National Basketball Team.
The team was preparing to play in the African international basketball association championships in August.
After arriving in Senegal, the team flew to Paris to play several exhibition games against other African and European teams for training.
The team played six exhibition games against teams, including the Central African Republic, Mali, Tunisia, Rwanda and the Belgium National Team. They finished 3-3 with BCC guard Louis Adams contributing in three of those games.
Mr. Adams, who was one of the youngest players to try out for the team, did not make the final cut, but is honored to have been given the opportunity to represent his country in athletics and considers it a beneficial experience.
"It was a great experience; doing the workouts I learned many things about basketball and life. I can't say anything bad about (it)."
BCC Men's head basketball coach Jeremy Shulman, agrees.
"It was a great opportunity for Louis...to get to play with ... the professional players that play in the NBA and play in Europe all coming back to his home country to play for the team. (It's) just a great experience and anytime you have a chance to represent your own country in athletics it's pretty exciting, so when he got the invite we were all excited for him."
This was not Louis Adams' first opportunity to represent his country, however. Three years ago, Mr. Adams played for the U18 Senegal National Team in the FIBA National U18 Championships. He was the leading scorer at 11.1 ppg and led his team to the semi-finals where they lost to the eventual champion, the Egyptian National Team.
Asked whether he would try out again in the future, Mr. Adams replied, "Every time they call me I will."
Until they do, which will certainly be in the near future thanks to his on-court accomplishments, BCC students will have the opportunity to watch Louis and his BCC teammates try to defend their conference championship this season starting with their conference opener Jan. 11, at Broward.
Lisa DeRuiter is a student in David Bradford's writing for mass communications class at BCC.