Light Bulb Coming On for Adebayo

HAMPTON, Va. --- Edrice "Bam Bam" Adebayo saved his best performance for last.

With Team Texas Elite missing its blue chip center Elijah Thomas, Adebayo took full advantage.

The 6-9, 235-pounder posted up hard on the block, sought the ball off of pick and rolls, and crashed the offensive boards.

"You've got to come out and play hard every game because if you don't somebody is going to show out on you," said Adebayo, a 2016 prospect attending Pinetown (N.C.) Northside.

The result was a 20-point, 13-rebound performance on 10-of-11 shooting – and a win for his Boo Williams team to close out the weekend in Hampton.

"The light bulb is finally starting to come on," said his mentor, Eric Peartree.

Adebayo got his first exposure to the 17-under EYBL circuit last year on the Boo Williams club. This year he's the starting center and expected to play a major role.

"Last year I didn't have as much skill, but this year I've got to come strong and Coach Boo is putting all his effort in to me," Adebayo said. "He needs me to rebound, needs me to score, offensive glass, defensive glass – everything.

"I was a little tentative last year but now I'm not."

Adebayo brings size, strength and athleticism to the table. That much is certain. The fundamentals and specific skills remain a work in progress.

"The intangibles we're trying to put him in, teaching him the fundamentals, learning the game, loving the game," Peartree said. "Bam is going to be a player who, when he blossoms … this time next year you're going to see a different kid. It's coming now."

His stats through 12 EYBL games reveal a productive and efficient player – not necessarily a go-to player – who is staying within his abilities: 12.0 points (68% FG, 61% FT), 7.7 rebounds (3.3 off.),

"He's not up there with the big dogs, so we've got something to fight for," Peartree said.

In order to compete against the "big dogs" during the high school season, Peartree knows that prep school may be the best option for one or two of Adebayo's remaining high school seasons. That's been an ongoing discussion, and one that involves weighing the potential basketball development against the strong connections to his hometown of Washington, N.C.

"We're looking at a bunch of prep schools and a lot of them are looking at him," Peartree said. "But the hometown still needs Bam. Our town has been quiet since Dominique Wilkins left. We'll look at the situation in terms of his development. We'll evaluate it and we'll go from there."

Adebayo will get the opportunity to face elite competition and receive high level coaching at camps this summer. He's slated to attend the NBA Top 100 Camp, John Lucas Camp, LeBron James Skills Academy and Peartree said USA Basketball training camp is a possibility, though it conflicts with AAU Nationals.

"There are some camps we want to attend, but we'll look at it because he's still a kid and I want him to enjoy himself and not burn him out," Peartree said. "He's loving the game more, he's smiling more."

Adebayo, who received a UNC scholarship offer a few weeks ago, made his first public comments this past weekend about the conversation with Roy Williams that yielded the offer.

"He called my coach, they had a little discussion, then he called me later that night and we were all on three-way and he said it," Adebayo said. "I was very excited, my mom was excited, my coaches and staff were excited.

"But you've got to keep playing, get some more offers and keep on."

Adebayo defers to Peartree when it comes to his recruitment but listed some of the interested schools that are joining his ever-growing list: "Louisville, ODU, N.C. State, Duke, Wake Forest, Cincy, Virginia Tech. I mostly let him talk to them."

Edrice Adebayo Profile

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