From Rugby to The NBA: Steven Adams

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RWU HQ – If you’ve ever seen Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams play basketball, one aspect of hisSteven Adams, Tim Duncan game might stick out over the others – his physicality.

But when you battle with some of the NBA’s best, like Houston’s Dwight Howard, Chicago’s Joakim Noah or Memphis’ Marc Gasol, you have to handle the punches and not be afraid to fight back. And the New Zealander isn’t afraid to fight back.

He’s as tough as I’ve been around, any player,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said, according to “Every day, he just plays. The elbows, the pushes, nothing fazes him. All he cares about is eating a lot of food and playing basketball.”

But where does that physical style of play come from? His time growing up and playing rugby in New Zealand.

SA2Dudes in rugby in that pile, they get punched, kneed and all that,” Adams said. “They could be bleeding and stuff, they still have to go on and play.

Adams’ dream growing up wasn’t to play center in the NBA, it was to play for his country’s most prized team.

I actually wanted to play rugby,” Adams said, according to “I wanted to be an All-Black. I did that until I was 13 and then switched over to basketball because rugby was tough. It was just hard.”

Considering the NBA center is now 7 feet tall, the decision to switch sports was probably the better idea. Not to mention Adams is having a pretty successful NBA career in just his second year, averaing 7.2 points and seven rebounds a game this season.

SA3If Adams decided to stick with rugby, where do you think he’d end up now? How would a 7-foot prop do?

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About DJ Eberle 198 Articles
DJ Eberle is easily the largest of the RWU Team; Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native played OT for Western New England University until he graduated in 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's moonlights on His Dad played prop with Johnathan Wicklow Barberie and Matt McCarthy - who also in a moonlighter. DJ's cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. There is hope, though, that his genetic inclination for Rugby, will cure him of that! Follow him on Twitter: @DJEberle66