Very cool. I’m a sucker for these stories. If you don’t know the background, that’s Tyler Adams, a big recruit for Georgetown 4 years ago who was supposed to be the starting center. Then during summer workouts he felt chest pain and got checked out by doctors who determined he had an arrhythmia which could be potentially fatal if he kept playing hoops. Instead of packing it in he got a medical hardship waiver, stayed on the team and became basically an assistant coach so he could be a part of the team and get his degree. Then, John Thompson surprised him with a start on Senior Day.
Georgetown Coach John Thompson III gathered his men’s basketball team after practice Thursday afternoon, ready to share a secret. Two days before senior day at Verizon Center, Thompson told his players he didn’t believe in the standard tradition of starting seniors in their final home game and that all of the Hoyas seniors already had started at some point this season, anyway.
And then the coach paused and turned to Tyler Adams.
“But we’re going to make an exception for Tyler,” Thompson said. “You’re starting.”
Smiles spread over every player. The words stunned Adams; he wondered whether his coach was joking. Thompson was serious: Adams, a Georgetown senior sidelined for almost the entirety of his career by a heart condition, will start Saturday against Seton Hall. Adams will play one possession or so, the highlight of a career snatched from him four games into his freshman season.
“I had no idea,” Adams said Friday afternoon. “He kind of surprised us with it.” [WashPo]
Classy move from Thompson and classy move from Seton Hall to let it all go down like that. Personally if it were me I would have set a guy up under the hoop to let himself get posterized, maybe dish out an And 1 and really make it a lasting memory, but this works I guess.
(Very good profile on Adams on the Washington Post here for the full story)