Photo courtesy of Dave’s Joint.
By David Cordova
In the high school season that passed recently, there were many standouts in the state of New Jersey that came into their own and fought their way to the top in gaining offers for themselves, or leading their teams to wins in the regular season or in the playoffs.
Quadry Adams has been a major factor the last three seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Edison, New Jersey. The 6-foot-4 senior shooting guard is long, athletic and finds multiple ways to be effective on the floor for the Trojans this past season. It is because of the drive to be the best player that he can be, that he will be suiting up in one of the best conferences in college basketball next season, the ACC, for Wake Forest.
When asked what motivates him to be successful on the court, he replied, “My parents, honestly, they work so hard for me every day. I just want to do every thing I can to put them in the best position to where they don’t have to work anymore. My family, that’s what keeps me going every day.”
Adams hails from Piscataway, New Jersey, which also home to Rutgers University, whose athletic programs play in the Big Ten Conference. Being a stone’s throw away from the campus, he has quickly put himself and his area on the map and has shown that the Scarlet Knights is not the only promising thing in town, when it comes to basketball.
“I mean, it’s not really a basketball town, but it’s a lot of talent out there, I mean, you’d be so surprised. It’s really a football town,” said Adams about the basketball culture in his area, “I mean, that killer mentality, that’s what we do out there, so I’m just bringing it to the basketball court, that’s all.”
On the strengths and weaknesses in his game, he replied, “I definitely feel like my perimeter game, I struggle with it, but I feel like I’m as good as anybody in transition. Once I get a rebound and get going, I can go with the best of them.”
On the game of basketball in the Garden State as a whole, he added: “Oh, my God, I mean, right now it’s an all-time high. I mean, it’s like talent everywhere, every school has a kid going D-1, going D-2, I mean, there are talented kids everywhere [in the state], it’s nothing like Jersey basketball.”
Throughout these last couple of summers, Adams has been suiting up for the New Jersey Panthers, a Plainfield, New Jersey-based program that played on the Adidas Gauntlet Silver Division last year and was able to be seen by college coaches from around the country.
When asked about playing for the Panthers, he replied, “The Panthers are a great organization, I mean, they took me in my sophomore year, definitely took my game to the next level and developed me, you know, taught me the right way to play basketball, and it definitely shows on the court. My decision-making is, you know, higher than my peers, because of the things that the Panthers taught me, day in & day out.”
Last September, he committed to Wake Forest, and is a part of a four-man recruiting class that includes two in-state players from North Carolina in Djimon Bailey and Jaylon Gibson and Chicago native Marcus Watson, Jr.
When asked about earning a Division I scholarship after playing on a non-sponsored AAU program, Adams replied, “It meant everything, I was just waiting for the right place at the right time. My dad always tells me, ‘You know, there’s going to be a time when preparation meets opportunity,’ and I’m always trained to go.”
On his commitment to the Demon Deacons, he replied, “Well, I took my [official] visit the first week of September, [and] I mean, I fell in love with it instantly, those guys are amazing, there’s nothing like Wake Forest. Those guys are family-oriented, and I’m going to come in right away and make an impact with my team, and I mean, that’s all I’m looking forward to doing in the best conference in America, in college basketball.”
As a junior at Bishop Ahr (which has since gone back to its original name of St. Thomas Aquinas, the name the school was founded as in 1969), he averaged 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and three assists per game. This past season, as a senior, he averaged 18 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists per game and 2.8 steals per game, as he led the Trojans to a 23-5 record and the school’s first Greater Middlesex County Tournament championship since 1992. For his efforts, he was named the county’s Player of the Year.
When asked about his junior season at St. Thomas Aquinas, he replied, “That’s really when I started to come into my own, I really started to grow into my own, I started to tell myself, I’m just as good as anybody else in New Jersey, and I really feel that way.”
Now that his high school career is over, it is time for Quadry Adams to make his presence felt in the ACC. As his father told him many times, there’s going to be times when preparation meets opportunity, and chances are he’ll capitalize on the opportunity, especially when he’ll playing against the other teams in the conference, including foes such as North Carolina, Duke, North Carolina State, Virginia, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville.
But as his competitive spirit has shown, the kid from Piscataway is ready for any challenge that is thrown his way.