Q&A with Shore Adenekan

Shore Adenekan may be the closest thing Seattle University has to a one-man metaphor for its basketball rebuilding project.

The 6-9, 247-pound power forward has obvious talent and potential, but is still very much a work in progress.

And Adenekan's road to Division-I basketball -- like Seattle U's return to D-I -- has been unconventional. After picking up the sport relatively late as a teenager in London, Adenekan moved to the U.S. to attend Lamar Community College in Colorado, where he spent two years before transferring to SU.

As a junior last season, Adenekan averaged 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as a part-time starter. The best pure athlete on the Redhawks' front line, he made himself a momentum-changer and highlight-reel regular by swatting shots into the crowd and rattling the rim with power dunks.

Two weeks after Seattle U's season ended in the WAC tournament, Adenekan had surgery to remove cysts from his right eyelid (The cysts did not impact his vision.) Recently cleared to return to the court, he spoke to Redhawk Nation about his first season at SU and his offseason plans.

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REDHAWK NATION: How's your eye?

Shore Adenekan: Fully recovered. The cysts didn't affect me any way at all; it was just there. It had been there for a while and I just had it taken out.

How would you grade your first season at Seattle U?

Individually, not bad. It was a learning experience for me. I was a starter at the beginning of the season, but I lost my spot due to a lot of different reasons. Hopefully next season I can change it around with the stuff I do this summer and by being more focused and more alert. As a team, of course our main goal was to get to the (NCAA) tournament and we didn't get there.

Did you feel like you were playing catch-up all year?

Yeah. I haven't played at this level before, so coming from a JUCO it was definitely an adjustment. It wasn't easy to adapt to the level of competition and the level of expectations.

What was the highlight of the season for you?

There were a few games where I put up decent numbers and helped the team win. I can't say one in particular stood out, but there were a few games in which I did make a big impact. Against UC Davis (Dec. 2) I had five blocks and 16 points. I made an impact against Idaho at their place. (Note: Adenekan had six points and nine rebounds against the Vandals on Feb. 1.)

What's your role on this team?

I'd like to think I defend well -- I can defend a lot of positions. I can block shots, rebound and score in the paint.

Do you pattern your game after any particular NBA player?

I like watching Dwight Howard and Amar'e Stoudemire. But I'll take things from a lot of people's games and try to add it to my own. I don't really base my game off one person. There's different superstars in the NBA and even in college that play in the post that I'll watch.

When (SU power forward) Deshaun Sunderhaus went down for the season with a torn ACL, how did that impact you specifically?

For the team, Deshaun being injured was definitely a setback. He was playing well before the injury. For me, I had to step up -- myself and Jack (Crook), Will (Powell), even Clarence (Trent) moved up to a post position. Everyone has to step up when one of the stars is out.

What are your plans for the summer?

I've been considering going to New York, where I have siblings and I know some coaches out there I can work with on my game. One of my former teammates is going to Las Vegas for IMPACT training and some different camps, so I might go with him. I'm not sure yet. I just want to get myself ready mentally and physically for next season.

In the last couple of years you've kind of been all over the map. What was that experience been like, all the moving around and getting used to new places?

It's definitely a challenge transferring to a new school, getting to know new people, a new program, taking care of your academics and basketball. Going from London to Colorado to Seattle, it was a lot. But it's been a good experience.

How is Seattle?

Seattle is beautiful, especially now with the sun out. It reminds me of back home.

Was the transition to SU easier because you had Jack Crook and Theo Turner on the team, who are also from England?

When you're in another country, it definitely helps to have people from the same country you're from. It's good to have people who know certain things -- just, like, how people do things out here and little things like certain words you may not know, certain things you eat, stuff like that.

How good can this team be next season?

We hadn't played together as a whole group before (last season). Next year the chemistry will be a lot better. We'll be more cohesive. I feel like automatically we're going to be a lot better as a team, and the new players coming in should help.

What kind of player will you be next season?

Someone who gives it everything he has every game. I'd like to be more of a leader. I think leadership will be a key part of our season. I was watching the NCAA tournament, watching the Final Four, and at the end it came down to leadership and hard work from the upperclassmen.

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