STEVENS: Amanda Adamson Might Have a Soft Look, But This is One Tough Lobo
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/30/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 30, 2009

Amanda Marie Adamson
Year: Senior
Height: 6-foot
Stats: 8.3 pts, 6.6 rebs, 19 blocks
Born: Feb. 22, 1986
Hometown: Littleton, Colo.
Parents: John & Marie Adamson

By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

Don Flanagan has a story about Amanda Adamson. It involves a nose. An elbow. A loud cracking sound that reverberated across the Lobos' practice floor and made Flanagan cringe.

The Lobos' coach thought maybe he was going to have to call the paramedics and haul off the soft-looking blonde to the hospital.

Flanagan was wrong.

Amanda Adamson's mother, Marie, has a story about her blue-eyed baby girl. It came when Adamson was a youth player in Colorado and looking for a club team to hone her skills and maybe turn her into a Division I prospect.

Adamson tried out with two teams. On one, Adamson was a standout. The coach promised her a starting job and threw endless praise at the impressionable teenager. He told her she was the best No. 2 guard in the state. He told her she might never leave the court.

At the second team's tryout, Adamson got her rear handed to her. Mom figured her daughter might be tempted to go play for team No. 1. Be the star. Take the easier path to glory.

Mom was wrong.

Back to Flanagan's story: "It was last year in practice," he said. "I saw someone hit Amanda in the nose with an elbow and I could hear the crack all the way across the gym.

"I remember thinking if somebody hit me in the nose with an elbow that hard and it sounded like that, I'd be down for the count. I thought she was done for the day, but she came right back on the floor. She doesn't look like a tough kid, but she is a lot tougher than what she appears."

Back to mom's story: Adamson had just finished working out with the Colorado Hoopsters, one of the premier club teams in Colorado. It was a step up for Adamson. The Hoopsters are good. The Hoopsters play hard and nasty.

"At the first tryout with the Hoopsters, she got her butt kicked," said Marie Adamson. "It was humbling for her. In the car after that, Amanda said, `Mom, if I'm going to get better, I probably ought to play for this team.' I thought it showed a lot of toughness in her to make that decision."

Adamson played for the Hoopsters. She played at Heritage High in Denver. She got better. She got tougher. She averaged 16.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals as a senior. She was named to the McDonald's All-American "Dream 100" in 2004. She was Street & Smith honorable mention All-American.

She went off to Syracuse for two seasons, played in 52 games, but wasn't happy. She transferred to New Mexico. "It was nice to be closer to home because of the traveling for me to go home and my family to come to my games," she said. "That was an important part."

Of course, the game and playing time was important, too. Adamson didn't become a Lobo to sit on the bench. She was determined to make her mark as a Lobo by showing Flanagan a complete player, a player you couldn't afford not to place on the court.

Her bag of tricks is pretty complete. There is only one player on the team in the Lobos' top three in scoring, blocked shots, steals, assists and rebounds -- Adamson. She is third on the team is scoring with an 8.3 average and tops the Lobos in rebounding with 6.6 boards a game. She is No. 2 on the team in blocked shots at 19, behind 6-foot-6 Valerie Kast.

"My mentality has always been to fill up the stat sheet in a lot of areas," said the Lobo senior. "I want to get blocked shots, steals, points, rebounds. I try to do a little bit of everything because all those things can make a difference in a game. Not everyone wants to do all that stuff."

If you are more a fan of the Lobo men than the Lobo women, a good way to look at what Adamson does for the women is to compare her with Roman Martinez. Like that hustling Lobo guy, Adamson does a lot of things that don't get noticed. She does the dirty work, stays active, and very often her hustle helps her come up with a big shot, a big rebound, a big steal.

"She is 24-7 effort out there," said Kast, Adamson's roommate and close friend. "Her and Amy (Beggin) are the workers on the court. I've never seen them give up or stop working. They are both leaders, too."

Said Amanda Best: "Amanda does so much for us and gives us a whole other dimension. She played guard last year and she can play and defend as a guard or as a post. She can help us bring the ball down the court, which really helps us break a press. She hustles and she is really tough out there. She adds so much to our team."

Adamson, a lean 6-footer, probably is a natural two-guard. Flanagan takes advantage of her versatility and toughness by placing her on the wing or even in the power forward spot. She can score against a guard or a post. She can defend a guard or a post.

"She has become a lot better basketball player and she's worked hard to do so," said Flanagan. "She also has grown off the court. She is someone I trust to do the right things and I don't even worry about her. I'm extremely happy with what she has done for the team. She is spirited and excited about being a Lobo. She is a team kid."

Said Adamson: "One of the things I'm happiest about is that I've grown as a person since I've been here. I got in a little trouble at first (a brief suspension), but I worked through it, grew up and I've gotten better off the court, too. This team has a lot of potential. They are fun to play with and I'm loving my senior year."

Editor's Note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at rstevens50@comcast.net. Previous articles are available at The Richard Stevens Corner