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Candice Adams going out with a bang in final season at North Texas

Candice Adams going out with a bang in final season at North Texas

North Texas senior guard Candice Adams (14) walks along the sideline in between possessions against Louisiana Tech. Dylan Nadwodny

Candice Adams going out with a bang in final season at North Texas
January 25
13:05 2017

Matt Brune | Staff Writer

At a normal practice for the Mean Green women’s basketball team, most of the players go through various ball-handling, rebounding or defensive drills. While they do this, senior guard Candice Adams can be found at an open hoop standing in one spot for several minutes sculpting her already faultless jump shot.

She does this time and time and time again, all by her lonesome. Once she is satisfied shooting from one area, she moves to another spot on the court. Adams repeats this routine for hours on end.

After years of fighting lingering injuries — particularly to her left knee — this is what Adams is relegated to in practice. No fast-paced drills or hard cutting for her. Just the sweet sound of the net when she splashes home a jumper.

“[Candice] is a warrior,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “She’s been through a lot. If you didn’t see that big bulky brace you’d never know anything was wrong with her. She symbolizes heart. I  honestly feel like when she’s rolling and leading we follow her.”

Adams is one of only two players on the current roster who have been at North Texas for four years. The other, senior forward Terra Ellison, has been by Adams’ side the entire way. In their tenure, the two have seen it all. Teammates leaving, injuries and even a coaching change after their sophomore season.

“It’s been a journey, but [Terra and I] are grateful,” Adams said. “We’ve seen two years of our first coach, [then we] came back and tried to rebuild the program with a new coach in our last two years.”

When she plays, Adams is known for two things, shooting and drawing charges  With 17, Adams currently leads Conference USA in charges taken. Her ability to step in front of oncoming opponents serves as the team’s rim protector of sorts, deterring opponents from the paint. When she gets the call, Adams not only gets her team the ball back, but fires up the bench in the process.

North Texas senior guard Candice Adams (14) looks to pass out of a double team. The Mean Green fell to 2-6 on the season after losing to Indiana. Colin Mitchell

It’s a skill very few players possess because it is a scary thing to do. It never feels good absorbing contact from an incoming player.

For someone with a lengthy injury history, it shows just how dedicated Adams is to the game and her teammates.

“[Those plays] are a big momentum shift, I think it really gets us going,” sophomore guard Terriell Bradley said. “Especially on offense, that helps us turn it up.”

Adams also acts as the team’s de-facto floor general. In several moments during games, Adams will reign the players on the court into a small huddle, usually before an opposing free throw attempt. The messages are usually clear and concise.

And the team frequently responds.

As a captain, Adams has become somewhat of an on-court coach, aligning the team at either end of the court.

“Candice is our most vocal leader of course,” Bradley said. “She keeps everyone in line [and] she really gets on us when we need it, but you need a person like that on any team.”

Equally as important as her leadership are her abilities on the court. Over the years Adams has nearly perfected her shot. This season, she is shooting a career-high 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. She leads C-USA in three-point percentage among players who attempt over five three-pointers per game.

Adams is also re-writing the North Texas history books. Her 40.2 percent shooting clip from deep is currently fifth in school history. She is also fourth in program history in threes made and attempted.

It didn’t always come easy for her, though.

As a freshman, Adams shot 24.3 percent from three, averaged 6.2 points per game, and hit 17 threes in 23 games. Suffice it to say, she’s grown on the hardwood. Despite her major improvements, Adams believes her greatest accomplishment has come off the court.

“My growth mentally, as a leader, as a player, and just as a person period, I’ve grown so much” Adams said. “I cannot stress enough how much growth and maturity that I’ve accomplished.”

While her scoring and shooting ability is undeniable, Adams does more than make shots. She is the heart of the team.

Her coaches and peers attest to that. In every film session and practice she’s tuned in, admits her errors, and aims to improve her game despite the restrictions she encounters.

“She’s one of two players that have been here for four years, so she’s been through the ups and downs,” Mitchell said “[She] really wants to go out with a bang and you can tell by her fire. Hopefully we’ll keep following the energy she brings.”

In ninth grade, Adams verbally committed to play basketball at the University of Texas at Austin. However, she never played a game for the Longhorns.

Now, three and a half years after she first came to the University of North Texas, Adams is trying to soak in every moment in her final season. She knows her games in a Mean Green uniform are numbered, but she intends to make the most of every single one of them.

“Coach always tells me ‘this is it, go out with a bang, have no regrets’,” Adams said. “So I take my shots, I do what I’m supposed to do, and everything else will fall into place.”

Featured Image: North Texas senior guard Candice Adams (14) walks along the sideline in between possessions against Louisiana Tech. Dylan Nadwodny

About Author

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell was the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily from May 2017 to December 2017. He previously served as the Sports Editor and Senior Sports Writer. Reece also worked at The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV.

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