After a busy July that included the adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago and multiple grassroots events, Louisville commit and 6-foot-7 wing Deng Adel is closing out the summer at adidas Nations in California.
Although Adel only played in two games at the event before sitting out with some minor injuries, he enjoyed the experience of playing with the Asia Pacific team. The team ultimately didn't advance to the televised games on Monday night, but it was still a positive time for Adel at the camp.
"It's been great. Good to see the top players in the country and the world and just having the chance to play against them. It's a lot of fun and I'm just trying to enjoy most of it," Adel said. "It's exciting. A lot of these guys I don't know, so I get to build relationships with them and represent our country."
While Adel only played in a couple of games, he also took part in a lot of skill development work and drills with many of the NBA coaches that worked with the campers. Adel believes taking part in those drills will help prepare him for his senior season and the next level.
"Some of the drills and talking to some of the coaches [has helped my game]," Adel said. "Especially having a lot of the NBA coaches here with the drills they do at the next level. It kind of gives me a rough idea for what it's going to be like."
Now that he's a Louisville commitment, Adel said that there isn't as much pressure on him to perform on a daily basis. He feels much more at ease with the game and that was apparent in his demeanor on and off the court at adidas Nations.
"It's a lot of pressure being released. Less pressure, now I can just play. I don't have to worry anymore. Now I can just focus on things that I need to work on before I get to college," Adel said.
When he finally made his commitment to play for the Cardinals, Deng said that he was greeted with a lot of optimism from his family and friends.
"They're all happy for me with how far I've gone. They know that I'm going to a bigger level and I have to work even harder," Adel said.
Adel isn't the only new member of Louisville's July live period recruiting efforts. Louisville native Raymond Spalding also committed to the Cardinals in the second week of July and Adel said that he's talked a little bit with his new future teammate.
"I spoke with him but I haven't really seen Ray play," Adel said. "I've spoken with him and he seems like a really nice guy. Very talented and big and it's exciting to get a chance to play with him.
"I just told him congrats on the commitment and I'm hoping to play with you. And he said the same thing, really. I don't really know him much, but we're trying to build a relationship. Hopefully go on a couple visits with him at events at Louisville."
With Spalding and Adel forming a good start to the class, now Deng is focused on becoming another recruiter for Louisville. He said he's been in the ear of another Florida high school prospect lately.
"I'm talking to Antonio Blakeney and just trying to recruit some of the other guys that our coaches are really looking at," Adel said.
Being Adel's last event of the summer, he plans on going home and working on his game in preparation for his senior season at Victory Rock Prep. An official visit will also likely come to Louisville soon, as well.
"I think it might be September but it's not set right now, I just have to work it out with my coach," Adel said.