One of the lost players on the Mavericks Las Vegas Summer League roster has been Josh Adams. The 6’2” 23 year old guard out of Wyoming has played 17.5 minutes per game in two games for the Vegas Mavericks so far. Being invited to play on a Summer League team is rare in the grand scheme of life, but what’s more amazing is that Adams can even walk.
Adams spent four years at the University of Wyoming, three of those with Lakers big man Larry Nance Jr. who calls Adams “one of [his] best friends in life.” Nance Jr. spoke to Dallas Sports Fanatic about the traumatic incident.
“He had just signed his contract to go overseas and play in Russia,” Nance Jr. explained, carefully choosing his words. “[He] was having a little get together at a friend’s house, I guess he must have fell asleep at the wheel or something…messed himself up pretty bad.”
According to the Denver Post Adams’ car “went airborne before crashing. He suffered a broken neck between the C-5 and C-6 vertebrae. He also suffered a dislocated sternum and required 25 stitches to close wounds on his face.”
If the injury had occurred just a few centimeters away from where it did, Adams may have never walked again—the line was that fine.
Nance Jr. said he was “there the next day, checking on him and everything.”
Just a week away from playing for Avtodor Saratov of the Russian VTB United League where he had signed a 2 year contract, Adams was stuck in a hospital for 20 days and then released to rediscover himself as an athlete and a man.
The basketball community rallied around Adams’ recovery and pitched in. Nance Jr. said he “had something to do with [Adams’] recovery, everybody did, it was a big ‘gofundme.’” The way Nance Jr. said “gofundme” made it sound like a comparison rather than a explanation but that is exactly what happened. According to the Denver Post, “About $50,000 poured in for his medical expenses via the GoFundMe website.” His family was shocked by the support and Adams began his relatively short (comparatively) road back to playing shape. Just five months after the accident Adams was cleared at the beginning of January for his first full-contact practice. Now he is logging minutes next to and against real NBA players.
“To see him like this, to see him playing really well and aggressive is awesome to see” Nance Jr. gushed about the progress of his former college teammate. The transition between the NCAA and NBA is massive but the transition between life threatening accident and competing at the highest level in one of the most demanding professions is incredible.
Whether Josh Adams will make an NBA roster or see time during the Pre-Season as a Training Camp invitee, his road to get this far is inspiring. And if anything, he knows he has the support of his community and his best friend who said, “I think he’s an NBA talent, I think he’s getting a chance to show that and I think he’ll stick.”
Larry Nance Jr. believes in Josh Adams and the basketball community believes in Josh Adams, Now, will NBA Scouts and Front Office Executives believe in Josh Adams? Until the Mavericks lose he’ll have the chance to continue to prove even more than he already has.
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