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We set up for the interview and his excitement is evident as he shares how a young star (kid) approaches him for advice before he even thought of taking on this responsibility of leading young basketball players into young men. His voice fluctuates more while he explains his reasoning for choosing to do this.
Quentin Adams was born in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Queens, New York when he was six years old. Adams, 26 years old, runs a youth program where he coaches the Mighty Hawks, a team of teenage basketball players in Queens. The program itself is more than just basketball. “I don’t care about my players making division I or II schools, my focus is guiding them to positively look forward into having a positive life,” says Adams.
The Mighty Hawks program helps prepare young students for the game of basketball and life. It’s where the students can be taught the game of basketball from running a perfect screen to knowing how to running an effective fast break. But what’s most important to Adams is teaching them how to be just as indulged in their schoolwork as they are in basketball. “I just want to make sure that my kids all have good grades so when a college is interested in the player, they will have the grades as much as they have talent”
Adams’ love for the game can’t be denied but there was a particular moment as a kid where he hated the sport before he even knew what it was about. “I remember picking up a flyer for a class that had a basketball on it and I went up to my dad and said hey, what’s this,” recalls Adams. His father took him to the park to play and Adams, who had no clue what basketball was, almost had his future passion miss him. “An old man walk onto the court and snatch the ball out of my hands and said you can’t play anymore, you get out of here.” Adams remembers running off the court crying. To no avail, his father came to the rescue.
“My father came out yelling and challenged the man and another kid to play two-on-two against us and my father was balling, he was yelling shoot it, shoot it and I knew he had my back from there.”
That experience from that age has been instilled in him all the way up to now. Adams makes sure that his message to the players is essential to life lessons as well as learning to play the game the right way. His calling for teaching children to respect the game while using the game of basketball to help shape their lives into respectful and trustworthy men has paid off. “When I see these young kids grow and see their knowledge for the game and for life take off, that to me is one of the most beautiful things to see, to have a smile on their face and learn how to make a jump shot.”
Adams credit his success to his high school coach, coach Brett and college coach Richard Hall. “They were my mentors and they taught me how to coach kids.” Adams is four years in, mentoring young athletes and his dream is to make it the biggest basketball youth program there is. His dream is not for fame and fortune but his love is for the kids and he understands that helping inner city youth get off the streets to learn something positive can be life saving.
The program of the Mighty Hawks differs from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams due to the fact it’s focuses more on other tasks of life than just basketball. Adams looks at the good in the differences of the programs. “I like how [AAU] operates to give kids chances to travel to see different places,” says Adams. He believes that two programs have similarities as far as how they are ran between the four lines on the court. However, he wants the competition between the young kids to be fair. “I just suggest that tournament directors take it more seriously in knowing the ages of the children because a lot of kids are over the playing age going up against 13 year olds.”
Adams realizes that it takes a village to raise children. “I want this to be the biggest program in the aspect of helping kids that need that extra push with their grades to make that division I team in college, we would be able to to give them that.” During the winter, Adams holds his program Saturday mornings from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, in the spring time, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm after school and during the season, he holds study halls and film session from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.