McAdoo Plays On

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Twitter might be the future of news reporting but even it couldn't keep up with James McAdoo this week.

After winning a gold medal with the 17 and under U.S. Team in Germany on Sunday, McAdoo embarked on a two-day trip back to Augusta, S.C. for the Peach Jam that involved a missed flight, lost luggage, an hour long car ride and one exhausted tweet.

"Still trying to get my bag from the airport, two games later on today," McAdoo tweeted at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. "Will I play???"

McAdoo didn't get to bed Tuesday until around 3:30 a.m. but he choose to disappoint his Twitter followers instead of his teammates at the Peach Jam later that morning. Just six hours after checking into his hotel, McAdoo was back on the court and ready to go against BABC -- kind of.

"Basically this morning we were able to get my bag which had all my stuff in it and you know, I love basketball and my team, I know they were counting on me," McAdoo said. "I figured ‘Hey, I'm here. I want to play. I want to help my team.'"

While BWSL looked half asleep early against BABC -- falling behind by 17 points in the first six minutes -- McAdoo adapted fairly well to the six-hour time difference, registering 13 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes.

McAdoo didn't start -- entering the game at the 10-minute mark -- but immediately went to work on BABC from the high post. The rising junior utilized a quick first step and soft touch around the basket, shooting 5-for-10 from the field.

"I thought I played OK," McAdoo said. "I'm just trying to get back into the groove."

After facing a physical brand of international basketball in Germany, McAdoo said he felt like the AAU competition wasn't quite as difficult as usual.

"The international game is like a boxing match," McAdoo said. "It's so physical. As long as you don't push them with your hands, you can pretty much do anything you want. They're not going to call any fouls, especially if you play for USA. Coming back and playing in this tournament is so easy, it's almost like going from the NBA to rec ball."

In addition to toughening him up a bit, playing international basketball also forced McAdoo to expand his game. After teams started keying in on his right hand, he worked to develop his left. In the first half against BABC, McAdoo showed off several left-handed shots including a smooth, running one-hander in the lane that rimmed out.

"The scouting report on me was definitely that I like to go to my right hand just from when I was playing down in Argentina," McAdoo said. "So I definitely just tried to work on my jump shot going into the camp, ball handling and just work on my left hand. I think it really has helped me improve my game even more."

While his first-day stats at the Peach Jam might have suffered somewhat from all the travel, McAdoo was still excited about his experience in Germany. Not only did he build friendships and improve his game, he also landed some prestigious hardware.

"It doesn't really hit you. It'll probably hit me later on down the road, a couple years from now," McAdoo said. "To stand on top of that podium, hear the national anthem and have the USA across your chest -- you know that not many people get to do that."

McAdoo continued to get his legs back later in the day and his team needed it. After losing to BABC 67-42 in the morning session, Boo Williams picked up an important 65-54 win over Austin Rivers and Each 1 Teach 1 with McAdoo scoring 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting, pulling in eight rebounds and blocking six shots.

As if all of that weren't enough, McAdoo had even more to talk about during his first day at the Peach Jam, commenting on his recent decision to return to Norfolk Christian Academy for his senior season.

Over the summer McAdoo entertained the idea of graduating early and attending UNC next season before ultimately deciding to finish out his high school career on a traditional schedule. On Tuesday morning McAdoo said that while going to UNC early would've been a great opportunity and was a possibility he was excited about, it wasn't feasible in the end.

"I would've had to do two college English classes while I was playing for USA and now that I think about that, that would've been impossible," McAdoo said. "I would've never been able to do that. In the end I wouldn't have been able to do it just because I had no time."

Now that the decision has been made, McAdoo is excited about another year at Norfolk Christian.

"Now that I've won the gold medal I'm really looking forward to my senior year," McAdoo said, "hopefully winning another state championship and hopefully going to all the all-star games and stuff."

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