Nadine Adams: Takes a Long Shot for Success


There were days during the 2008-09 Kodiaks basketball season on which Nadine Adams admits she questioned her sanity.

As co-captain of the women’s basketball team, ranked number one in Canada for almost the entire year and winner of the national bronze medal, Adams could have pretty much filled her time attending classes and practices, with maybe a little time for herself on the side.

But for a fantastic five-month period, she was a dynamic force of nature – General Studies student, basketball star, wife, mother, employee, role model – all at 21.

Recruited from Springbank Community High School near Calgary, Adams played two years for the Kodiaks (2005-07), took a year off to have a baby with husband Buddy LaRue, and returned to the hardwood for what she thought would be her last season as a Kodiak. But a change in family plans means she’ll suit up again this fall with her two biggest fans cheering her on: Buddy and daughter Makena, nine months old when mom was leading the Kodiaks to provincial gold this season past.

There were days, of course, when Adams wondered if she could shoulder all that was being asked of her. She had set herself a daily schedule to keep on track for classes, study, practices, games at home and on the road, work at a mall two days a week and nursing an infant. Sometimes she slipped.

“Makena would be crying, my homework needed to be done: some days were harder than others,” says Adams. “When that happened, I’d take a few moments to relax and remember why I’m here and why I wanted to do this.”

Buddy, an American Adams met while visiting her parents in Missouri several years ago, can’t work in Canada, so although he’d developed a small handyman business, he had the time to help out where needed. He minded Makena when Adams needed time for academics and athletics and, bonus, enjoys cooking.

“He has supper ready, comes with Makena to all the practices and games and is a big help on the road,” says Adams, just before the team won the ACAC title in March. “Makena is still nursing, so she’s too young for me to leave. My teammates are also support for my family.”

Sometimes during the season, those teammates were curious as to how Adams kept all the plates spinning; she had an answer.

“I told them it was hard at times, but I look at it as an opportunity to be a mom, a wife and a basketball player. I believe I was there for the girls. I wanted to be a good example for them as captain.”

Adams, a shooting guard, showed up on the stats sheet as well as the court. Playing on a team with three South Division all-stars, she paid her own way: first in the conference in three-point shooting percentage; first in assist/turnover ratio; third in three-pointers made; seventh in assists and eighth in scoring and field-goal percentage.

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