Ade Adebayo is one of the biggest European based sleepers of 2001 generation. Not widely recognized outside of England but very dominant inside UK. Suffice it to mention MVP of underclassmen game during Hoopsfix All-Star Classic and huge contribution (18 points, 6 assists and 5 steals) in securing back to back Elite Academy Basketball League title for his team where he pretty much could be given likewise award instead of Caleb Fuller.
Nigerian guard still doesn’t hold Euro passport and that’s why he can’t be a member of Brittish youth teams which tend to overachieve lately at FIBA events. Recently Ade was ranked at 5th spot (only behind Mate Okros, Tomiwa Sulaiman, Hosana Kitenge and Theo Hughes) in prestigious Deng Camp which gathered for the fifth consecutive year Top 50 local talents. Upcoming season he will again be part of Barking Abbey in EABL and moreover suit up for Crusader in NBL D1 (national 2nd tier). What are his feeling heading into 2018/2019 campaign?
This is intended it to be my breakout in terms of getting my name out there and showing my potential. As a player I have improved my overall iq of the game. I came in as a slow player but now I prefer to get my advantages by pushing the ball on the break. I’m happy to an extent about my season but I’m aware that I can always do better.
For a second let’s go back to his beginnings. Similarly to England, in his motherland soccer is a choice number one and it wasn’t different at all in his case.
Growing up I played football and I really enjoyed it . But playing basketball gave me a different type of joy, I felt like it was the sport meant for me to do. Also doing basketball teaches you skills of resilience and hard work which is a really vital trait in succeeding in life.
Ade is extremely athletic player whose combination of power and speed can cause trouble for every defender while on the other end of the floor he is as hard to beat as it gets given his competitiveness, lateral quickness, wingspan and strong frame. What kind of player he is in his own eyes?
Overall I like to see myself as a guy who gets his energy from shutting down others on defense, which then leads to offense. I play better in the open court pushing the ball and getting my advantage using my speed and length. I would say I can be versatile on the court because of my length. I feel more comfortable in the pg position being able to control the tempo of the game.
Obviously he is not a finished product yet and typically for players who excel in transition thanks to their physical gifts he needs to find more balance to function better in half court situations:
I don’t really have an in-between game so I need to improve my midrange finishes for example floaters or off the dribble jumper.
Recently we published a piece title “British guard next generation: Jonathan Brown”. Ade and him were once rivals, now backcourt partners. When asked by us, powerful English guard described Adebayo by those words:
“ I personally think Ade’s game is really solid; he’s very athletic and a great defender, really good in transition, and can break down players in the open court finishing with both hands at the rim. I like also his high basketball IQ.”
We requested Adebayo to do the same. This is the answer:
I think Jonathan brown is a really good player. I would like to believe he has a similar game to mine. Like getting his advantage on fast breaks and shutting down his opponent on defence.
Both of them will finish pre college education next year. Is NCAA something he is leaning towards?
My options are open to what I want to do after high school it really depends on what I feel is best for my development. I would prefer to take a D1 route, finishing with good academics as a back up.
Speaking of backups he can be solid one for even mid major program and it shouldn’t be very long until he is able to contribute.
Photo credit: MANSOOR AHMED/AHMEDPHOTOS