The chances of making it pro in the field of sports are very slight. It’s not every day when you see someone making it pro overseas, but starting out in the Midwest of the United States. That’s exactly what happened to Darius Adams, who plays guard for the Guaiqueries of Venezuela.

For Adams, it was one of the best things to happen for him in his career on playing basketball as a professional.

“Making it pro was one of the best feelings, knowing that dreams do come true if you chase it and never give up,” Adams said. “All the hard work paid off and now I get an opportunity to show my talent.”

The 6-foot, 165-pound guard knows it isn’t the NBA, but it’s a good start for his career.

“It’s not the NBA, but it’s a start,” he said. “The main thing is I get a chance to further my career.”

Adams plans to take his talents to the National Basketball Association, as he has sights on it this summer.

“This summer I am going to try my shot with the NBA. I am working hard to get in the Summer League or hopefully get some workouts in,” Adams explained.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.berecruited.com/photos/athletes/large/18563674.jpgAdams may know a thing or two about playing with NBA players. In fact, back in September, Adams had a chance to play with the famous Goodman League team, which is the off-season team for some NBA players.

Many NBA players took part in several of the off-season leagues, especially with the lockout going on at the time. Adams played with some of the league’s biggest stars like John Wall, Zach Randolph, and Paul George to name a few.

Adams played against Knox-Indy Pro-Am, defeating them in a 170-167 high-scoring bout. Adams scored four points and three rebounds in the outing.

“Playing in the Pro-Am/Knox-league game was a very humbling and motivating experience,” Adams recalled. “Getting to play against big name players and hangout with them was great.”

Adams really started getting into basketball at a very young age. Adams recalled saying it all started when he was going to the Boys & Girls Club.

For high school, Adams played at MacArthur High School. Adams remembered a lot from his high school career, especially when he wasn’t really given a shot in his first year.

“The most memorable part of my high school career was when I didn’t make the team during my freshman year. I then had a breakout season in my senior year, and that’s what still motivates me.”

After his high school career at MacArthur, the Decatur, Illinois-native decided to take his talents to Lincoln College. Adams really enjoyed playing for the school.

“Playing for Coach B.J. McCollum at Lincoln College really got me focused and ready for the next level. I learned how to handle adversity and criticism to help elevate my performance on the court,” Adams said.

Adams played solid for Lincoln in the 2008-09 season, being the leader in their run to the NJCAA D-II college basketball tournament. Adams was selected to the All-Tournament team and helped his team put up a good fight there. It was Adams’ favorite moment from there.

“We placed third [in the tournament] and it helped pave the way for them [John County Cavaliers] to win back-to-back titles. I also received the Region 24 Player of the Year award,” Adams said.

Adams recalled winning the Player of the Year award as a big accomplishment.

“It was a great accomplishment for me personally because I went from not making the team to then dominating the league. The rest is history.”

Adams posted solid numbers in his last year at Lincoln, averaging 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. He was also selected a First-Team All-American.

One of his best games statistically over there was when he dropped 33 points in a win over Danville Area CC, where he shot 10-of-17 along with six three-pointers. He also had a double-double against Rend Lake CC, having 25 points and 11 rebounds.

After his solid career at Lincoln, Adams then transferred over to the University of Indianapolis.

“Playing for UIndy was a great situation for me. Coach G [Stan Gourard] had a lot of confidence in me. He gave me a lot of freedom to make mistakes but he also guided me to help me become a better player,” Adams said. “He played pro ball, so he knew what it took to be successful. I really wanted to go D-I but he helped persuade me to come there saying I could if I worked hard at it here in UIndy.”

Adams did well in his first season with the Greyhounds, averaging 19.4 points per game, which ranked fourth in the GLVC conference. Adams also led the team in rebounds with six per game. Along with that, he was selected to Second-Team All-GLVC team and First Team All-Region by Daktronics. He was also the William A. Bright Team MVP.

One of Adams’ most recognized games was in his senior year at UIndy, where he led the team with 27 points in a win over top-ranked Tennessee, 79-64. Adams recalls it being his favorite memory at the university, as his team made it to SportsCenter because of it.

It was Adams last year of college basketball and he surely made the most of it, averaging 23.2 points along with 5.7 rebounds, leading the team again and one of the top in the conference.

He was also the William A. Bright MVP for the second year in a row, along with being selected to the Second Team Daktronics All-American squad and an Honorable Mention All-American by the Division-II Bulletin. Adding to that, he was First Team All-GLVC as well.

For his career at UIndy, Adams finished with 21.3 points per game (second all-time with UIndy) and four assists per game (fourth all-time). He had his career-high of 41 points in a win at Illinois-Springfield on January 2, 2011.

Overall, it was an interesting senior year for him.

“My last year was both exciting and sad at the same time. Knowing it was my last year and time I would have to make a name for myself, I had to be more focused than ever,” Adams said. “I always give 100-percent but I had to go even harder to reach my goal, and that was to play professionally.”

Adams did just that, making it overseas. In his first year at Venezuela this past season, Adams played 31 games, logging in 28 minutes a game. There, he averaged 19 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.5 steals per game.

“I had a pretty solid first year. I had the opportunity to come in and be the floor general from the start,” Adams remembers. “The coach had a lot of faith in me. I came in trying out for the team they ended up deciding to keep me.”

Overseas was a different experience for the 23-year-old.

“Playing overseas is a great experience. It gives you the opportunity to see a different part of the world and play the sport I love,” Adams said. “On the other hand, it also helped me depend more on myself. I have to deal with problems on my own.”

With the fact that he had to play in a different country, Adams knows he had to learn a new language as well.

“Learning a new language was tough as I was going to places where no one speaks English. I had to pick up on some things fast and I used Google Translate a lot while I was there,” Adams recalled. “My teammates would crack jokes sometimes because I would say things that didn’t make sense. All in all, it was a much more exciting way to learn Spanish rather than learning in a classroom.”

http://athletics.uindy.edu.s3.amazonaws.com/custompages/gallery/Darius_Venezuela/thumbs/_middle_GuaiqueriesvsGigantes_fp_13022012.jpgAdams thinks a lot about the game plan before he heads onto the court. He thinks about what he needs to do. Listening to music also plays a role before game time for him. For his basketball career, his coaches played a big role on what he has become today.

“My coaches have helped me out a lot when it comes to the game of basketball. I just try using their knowledge to my advantage,” he said. “I know they’re just trying to help me. If they are telling me something, it’s because they have been through a similar situation before.”

Adams looks to give it a shot at the NBA as one of his big plans for next season. If it doesn’t pan out, he still has overseas as an option.

What keeps Adams going to this day in his basketball career is his mother. Playing in Venezuela gave him a solid chance to help her out.

“She struggled to make sure I had the things I needed and now I get the opportunity to make life easier for her,” Adams says.

And that’s what gives Darius the fuel he needs.

“Seeing her happy and less stressed is the reason I go even harder.”

This article was conducted in an interview with me and Darius. Follow Darius on Twitter @mr_makeitlukez

By Josh Dhani


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