FORT MILL – Getting a mental edge on your opponent in any sport is beneficial, but for Nation Ford senior basketball player Kelci Adams it is all part of the game.
Adams, 17, became the girls’ all-time leading scorer for the school recently and went over the 1,000-point mark for her career. She is just the second girl to hit the mark at the school behind Taylor Yarborough (2011-2014), and only the fourth person in school history to score more than 1,000-points. She surpassed the mark against Legacy Early College as part of the Battle of the Rock event at Nation Ford. Adams said she was excited about hitting the mark, and that it just lets her know all of her hard work is paying off. She was picked in the preseason as one of the top 5A players in the state by the state Basketball Coaches Association.
However, scoring 1,000 points in her prep career was never a goal for her, despite playing on varsity since her freshman year.
“I didn’t even really think about it,” she said. “It just really came.”
A second-generation player, Adams gives a lot of her credit to her mom, Pam, who passed along the basketball gene in the family, as she herself was a former college basketball player at Kansas State.
“She had a big influence on me,” Adams said. “I fell in love with it. I like how fast it is. And if you mess up, you can redeem yourself immediately after. I definitely like the competitive aspect of it.”
Adams has had a ball in her hand ever since she can remember. She started playing basketball as a child, but also played softball and volleyball. However, once basketball started moving to the forefront of her athletic landscape in middle school, she put an emphasis on the sport and hasn’t looked back.
Once in middle school, Adams started scoring and also hasn’t stopped. At just 5’8”, naturally Adams was placed into the guard role on the court, so handling the ball and shooting became like second nature to her.
“When I played in elementary school, I was running the point (guard position) because I was tiny,” she said. “That led me to be more of a shooter.”
Adams has never shied away from the pressure of playing with the ball in her hands. Now as a senior, she is looked to lead the Falcons on the court as they go for their second consecutive Region 3-5A title. As she has gotten older, becoming a go-to shooter has become more like natural to her.
“It came natural with all the practice and stuff, I just got confident because of all the practicing,” she said.
For Adams, the sport takes up a lot of her time as she takes just one day off a week from shooting. She normally takes up to 500 shots a day while working on her game and has to make at least 100 shots, according to her on standards. She is even putting up 500 shots a day on game days, even before the game tips off.
Besides shooting, one aspect of the game that Adams said she really enjoys is the mental part. She plans on majoring in psychology in college.
“I want to know what people think and why they do what they do,” she joked. “Once you get in someone’s head, you know you got them. It takes them off their game.”
Nation Ford is off to a 6-2 start on the season and despite having a new coach at the helm in Coretta Richmond, Adams said she isn’t surprised at how well the Falcons are playing this season.
“I am glad we are able to come together with a new coach and basically with a new team and perform how we are performing,” she said.
Richmond said getting to know Adams this season has been a pleasure and she said she already sees how special of a talent Adams is.
“She is a genuine young lady,” Richmond said. “She brings a diversity to our program where we can shoot outside. She can also drive to the basket so that makes her even more dangerous. It has been a joy to coach her. She brings a skill set to her teammates to help them understand the game as well. Off the court, she brings laughter to everybody and everybody looks to her for her leadership.”
Adams has an offer from Barton College in North Carolina to play at the next level, but is still keeping her options open and is looking for more potential offers to come in as the season progresses.
“Wherever she does go, they will get something really special,” Richmond said.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM