Danielle Adams: Second Round Steal

Nearly three months ago, All-American Danielle Adams accomplished the one goal every college player strives for. Having led the Texas A&M Aggies to its first women’s basketball national championship in school history and being named the game’s Most Outstanding Player, Adams capped off an impressive college career as she cut the nets down in Indianapolis.

“I was stoked about it,” recalls Adams. “I couldn’t believe it happened.”

Adams had a lot to be “stoked” about. In that final game against Notre Dame, she put up 30 points, the second-highest total ever scored in a women’s championship game. Only Sheryl Swoopes scored more with 47 in the 1993 championship game. Adams also joined Swoopes as the only two junior college transfers to earn Most Outstanding Player honors.

But despite all that Adams and the Aggies accomplished, everybody, including Adams, soon shifted their focus to the upcoming WNBA Draft. Less than a week after the championship game, 12 teams would make their selections and Adams hoped to be one of them.

As the “Most Outstanding Player” on undoubtedly the most outstanding team, many experts predicted Adams as a first-round pick. But draft day came and she soon realized that wasn’t the case. Adams saw 19 other players selected before finally hearing the good news:

“With the 20th pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft, the San Antonio Silver Stars select Danielle Adams.”

Adams had finally made her dream a reality. Even though it took longer than expected, she was excited about her new team nonetheless.

“I was happy about my selection because I wanted to stay in Texas and I knew San Antonio was a perfect fit for me.”

And what a perfect fit it has been. Game after game, Adams has consistently provided a crucial spark off the bench. Through eight games, she is averaging a rookie-leading 15.9 points per game, contributing in large part to the Silver Stars’ league-leading 7-1 record and 92.1 points per game. In addition, Adams ranks in the top five among rookies in rebounds, field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, blocks and minutes.

So what has been the driving force to all this success? There’s no doubt Adams’ second-round selection continues to provide extra motivation in her remarkable rookie season.

“After winning a national championship and being selected in the second round, it’s given me a boost to go out there, work harder and show people why I should have been drafted in the first round. I have my teammates to back me up and now I’m just proving people wrong.”

Of all the teammates to back her up, Danielle Robinson has been there longer than anyone. Robinson and Adams have been close friends since the summer of 2009 after trying out for USA Basketball together. In the two years following their tryout, they saw a lot more of each other through numerous battles in the Big 12 (Robinson played for Oklahoma).

Having competed against Adams several times in conference play, Robinson knew without a doubt that Adams would make it to the WNBA.

“I knew (Adams) could do it all along because I’ve seen it many times before when we were playing (in college),” says Robinson. “She has a knack for the ball and can flat out score.”

Now in the WNBA, Robinson and the rest of San Antonio can expect to see a lot more of Adams, as the 22-year-old rookie has no plans of leaving any time soon.

“I’ll keep working harder and harder and hopefully continue to stay with this organization until I retire.”

Now that’s something for everyone to be “stoked” about.