Could Bam Adebayo be what Shawn Kemp Never Was for UK? #BBN
Edrice “Bam” Adebayo is a small town kid with big time potential. The 6’10” 260 pound power forward hails from the small, eastern North Carolina community of Pinetown. After attending Northside High School (NCHSAA) for three years of his high school career, Bam transferred to High Point Christian Academy for his senior year. AT HPCA Bam went on to average 18.9 ppg while shooting 64% from the field and grabbing 13 rebounds while leading his team to a 25-6 record. During his time in the #HoopState, Adebayo was named a McDonald’s All-American, Jordan Brand Classic selection, 2015 Under Armour Elite 24 MVP, USA Junior National Select Team, North Carolina AP Player of the Year, and Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year. Bam draws a lot of comparisons to NBA vet Dwight Howard but in truth the comparisons are strictly physical. Howard was measured at 6’11” and 243 pounds in high school which is very similar to Adebayo who currently sits at 6’10” and 260 pounds.
Here is a short highlight on Dwight Howard during his high school days at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Georgia.
A comparison that may fit better for Edrice “Bam” Adebayo is ex-NBA great, Shawn “The Reignman” Kemp. Kemp comes from the slow-paced, basketball rich state of Indiana much like Adebayo and North Carolina. Kemp was drafted at 6’9″ and was listed at 6’10” for most of his 14-year NBA career that included 6 All-Star selections. If Adebayo is able to become the next one-and-done from Kentucky, he will be drafted at the age of 19 – the same age that Shawn Kemp was drafted in 1989 at the 17th position to the Seattle SuperSonics. The easiest of the Kemp/Adebayo comparisons comes in two parts: the first being both have unreal athletic ability and the second being the University of Kentucky connection. Kemp enrolled at University of Kentucky to play for Coach Eddie Sutton in 1988 but left the team in November of his freshman year after being accused of theft by a teammate. Kemp transferred to Trinity Valley Community College in Texas but never played a game. That spring, at 19-years old, Kemp declared for the NBA draft. Kentucky’s Big Blue Nation never got the chance to cheer for the showtime dunks Kemp was capable of but maybe now, almost 20 years later, they will have the chance to embrace the same type of highlight plays via Bam Adebayo.
Here is a highlight film showcasing Shawn Kemp’s best dunks from high school.
The main difference from Bam and anyone else mentioned above, or that he’ll find himself on draft boards with, is his work ethic and mind set. Bam is a kid the works hard 100% of the time and when it comes to concepts of team and growth, he just “gets it.” Look for Adebayo to dominate the boards & run the floor with the best of them this season in Lexington. He will need to improve his back to the basket game as he continues to mature but that should come. Unlike the super mobile NBA power forwards of UK past (Anthony Davis & Julius Randle) Bam will bring power first & finesse will be secondary. Expect him to buy in at UK, trust Coach Calipari and the proven process, and find himself on stage with Adam Silver next June in a lottery position. Enjoy the show!