Girls basketball: Sammi Adams is Griffith’s ‘Energizer Bunny’
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent February 15, 2013 11:28PM
Griffith's Sammi Adams takes a shot against Lake Central during their game in November at Lake Central High School. | File Photo~Sun-Times Media
Points per game: 14
FG shooting: 42%
3-PT FG: 50%
Free throws: 69%
Updated: March 17, 2013 6:48PM
Sammi Adams was in kindergarten when she first attended Griffith’s basketball camp.
“My mom called and asked if I could go there even though I wasn’t in first or second grade yet,’’ she said.
Griffith coach Tom Golumbeck told Adams’ mother she could enroll in the camp “as long as she could keep up.”
Adams not only kept up, she stood out.
“I came home with all these ribbons,’’ she said. “One was for the layup contest, and another for the shooting contest.’’
Adams’ performance at the camp was a preview of things to come.
The senior small forward has played on four straight sectional-winning teams for the Panthers, who captured a fifth consecutive sectional title last week.
Adams, who averages nearly 14 points per game, leads Griffith (15-8) into Saturday’s second game of the Class 3A Rensselaer Regional against 10th-ranked Plymouth (17-6).
“It’s really exciting,’’ Adams said. “We really didn’t want to go out with anything less than a sectional championship and that’s what we did. Hopefully, we can continue (to win). We’re going in there (regional) prepared. We’re not necessarily nervous, but we’re excited to be in this position.’’
Adams was one of three talented incoming freshmen who learned what it meant to play for the Panthers during the extremely successful 2009-10 season.
Adams, Taylor Austin, Alyssa Gebo, and Emma Blackard, all learned from players like Shanlynn Bias, Stephanie Negrete and Lauren Hansen, who helped Griffith reach the Elkhart Semistate before losing to Fort Wayne Concordia.
“I definitely learned from those seniors,’’ Adams said. “Shanlynn, who played guard for us, was always upbeat and positive. She really helped me a lot. She was a real good leader for us and had a good attitude.’’
Golumbeck said Adams has improved steadily in her career.
After averaging 10 points per game as a junior, Adams — dominant with her left hand — spent a lot of time in her driveway last summer working on her right.
“One of the main reasons she’s picked up her scoring is because she can go with her right hand more,’’ Golumbeck said. “She worked a lot on that and really improved. She’s finishing a lot more around the basket now and that makes her more difficult to guard. I know she’s more comfortable, too.’’
What Golumbeck likes most about Adams is her athleticism.
“She has a very quick first step, and is a good jumper,’’ he said.
“She really gets up in the air when she shoots. When you combine those skills and her athleticism, you get a pretty good player. I think the kids look to her on the floor. When she’s making shots and scoring, I think they feel more comfortable because that takes a little pressure off of them.
“Sammi’s very important to our team offensively, but even rebounding and defense, she’s stepped up when we’ve needed her to when we had people out (with injuries).’’
In fact, while Gebo missed 11 games recovering from a knee injury, Adams served as the Panthers’ backup point guard behind Courtney Bell.
“I love playing the point, because I can really see the whole floor a lot better,’’ she said. “I usually play the three, and I think that usually works out best.’’
A two-sport athlete — she also plays center field in softball — Adams isn’t sure which sport she likes most.
“I love both sports,’’ she said. “Whatever season it is, that’s the one I like more. I don’t really have a preference.’’
Adams plans on playing one, possibly both sports, at the next level.
She’s just not sure where yet.
She’s interested in D-III hoops power, Hope (Mich.) College, along with Indiana schools like St. Mary’s College, Anderson University and Grace College.
“I’m weighing my options now,’’ she said. “I’m basing my decision on where I want to go and what they want me for.’’
Adams plans to major in digital media. Eventually, she desires a career working behind the scenes on the production and editing of TV commercials.
A solid B student, Adams would love to travel abroad and study — most likely her second year in college.
“I really want to go to Italy,’’ she said. “It’s really pretty there.
I’d probably study only a semester, then come back, so I could still play one sport.’’
Adams is definitely a competitor.
Take Griffith’s consolation game of Hanover Central’s Winter Classic against Wheeler, for example.
In the final seconds of the second overtime and Griffith trailing by three points, Adams barely missed a 3-point attempt. The ball caromed deep into the corner. Somehow, she ran her shot down, grabbed the rebound and launched another trey, but the ball narrowly rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.
“I guess that pretty much sums me up,’’ Adams said.
“I play until the buzzer goes off. I’m really very competitive. I don’t ever stop until the game’s over.’’