NBPA: Adebayo Making Strides

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- Pinetown (NC) power forward Edrice "Bam" Adebayo talks with Pack Pride at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.

Pinetown (NC) power forward Edrice Adebayo missed the first day of action at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, but he wasted little time making his presence felt on both ends of the floor on Thursday. Adebayo, who attended the camp last year, believes he is a much better player and is enjoying the experience.

"I've got stronger, bigger, and faster," he said. "I'm way more athletic.

"The camp is going good. I did it last year so I knew what to expect. My team is sharing the ball, and we're playing together. At first we weren't winning but now we have better chemistry and we're winning."

At the camp, he has the opportunity to interact with various NBA players and attend seminars that he feels could help him reach the next level.

"I'm trying to get my mental strength up," said Adebayo. "Going through here, it really builds you up and shows you how hard it is in the NBA."

He is certainly a hot commodity.

Adebayo holds offers from NC State, North Carolina, Kansas, Maryland, Wake Forest, and Louisville among others, but he isn't focused on recruiting. In fact, he doesn't deal with it at all. His mentor/coach, Eric Peartree, is taking all the calls from the various colleges pursuing the five-star talent.

"It's got real crazy, but I don't handle recruiting," said Adebayo. "My coach handles it so I don't have to stress over it. I just play basketball.

"It's pretty crazy. They call him from Monday through Friday. I don't think he gets a break."

"I just treat them all the same," Adebayo added when asked if he had a leader.

NC State is in the mix and the Wolfpack has been there from the start with Adebayo.

"They were the first offer I ever got," Adebayo said of NC State. "It was a blessing because I thought I'd get North Carolina Central or something. The fact that NC State was my first offer... I was just blessed."

Handling Adebayo's recruitment has been Wolfpack assistant Rob Moxley. Moxley has built a strong relationship with Bam and Peartree, and even though the Wolfpack assistant is dealing with health issues right now he's still passed on words of encouragement to Adebayo.

"I'm really close with coach Moxley, even though he has some stuff going on," he stated. "[Peartree] went up there and saw him. He said he's doing alright. He just told me to keep working, and I said thanks."

In-state programs North Carolina and NC State have made Adebayo a priority, but he isn't feeling any pressure to remain in-state.

According to Adebayo the plan is to sit down with Peartree next month and narrow down the list of schools.

"During July we're going to talk about it," he said. "We're going to narrow it down to who fits me best and what they bring to the table. Then I'll cut down my list."

It's obvious in listening to Adebayo that a major factor to him is playing with a high-level point guard.

"A good point guard that likes to run the floor, play defense, and is a good athlete," said Adebayo. "Well he gets the defense off me so I don't have to score every single play and they start crashing. A good point guard can get us in sets and get me free.

"If we just get a good point guard, I'll be happy to play with anybody as long as I'm there, and I can make it all the way to the next level."

He pointed out that he likes playing with Dennis Smith, an AAU teammate who is regarded by many as the top point guard in the country and has a list of schools similar to Adebayo. In college, he named NC State junior Cat Barber as a point guard he likes. Barber played AAU ball for Boo Williams, a team Adebayo suited up for early in his high school career.

"I just look up to him," he said of Barber.

Adebayo doesn't have a timeframe for making a decision and is just interested in playing basketball. He's currently rated the No. 25 player in the class by Scout.com and the No. 3 center, but he doesn't view himself as a center.

"I'm a power forward," Adebayo stated, laughing. "I think a power forward can be a three or a four, and a center is just a five that can play four sometimes."

He says he's often compared to a future Hall of Famer, but he thinks his game is closer to a current NBA All-Star.

"I hear Kevin Garnett all the time," said Adebayo. "I can understand it, but I think that's crazy. That man is just great. I'd say LaMarcus Aldridge because he can shoot jump shots and take you off the dribble. He's good with screens and he plays defense."

The expectation is for Adebayo's recruitment to potentially extend into the spring.

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