FREDERICK — Santa Claus and Lucas Adams’ search for a college have something in common.
Each makes a list, and each checked it twice. And when Adams was done with his process, he picked Western State Colorado University to continue playing basketball. He signed his letter of intent Nov. 14, the first official signing day.
“From the cold to the colder,” Adams said. “It’s been an advantage having the team camp up there, being able to meet the staff and meet the coach and be on the campus. My parents and I took our official visit (three weeks ago) and just loved it. I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to go up there.”
“I remember when we went to Las Vegas, and Lucas was in sixth grade,” said FHS principal Pete Vargas. “We made a pact. We said if we stick together, good things are going to happen.”
Adams said the main thing that convinced him to head to Gunnison was the coaching staff.
“They are doing the right things up there,” he said. “Coach (Mike) Moskowitz and I had a good, heart-to-heart conversation about how he prepares his kids for life after the game. He makes sure to have a strong connection with his players and to get his players ready to be better men, not just basketball players. That’s the kind of guy I am. I respect what he’s doing up there.”
Adams also paid an official visit to Mount Marty College, a Catholic liberal arts college in Yankton, S.D. He also scheduled official visits to Simpson College, a liberal arts college in Indianola, Iowa, and Eastern Wyoming Junior College. He tried to pick a college for two years.
“I wanted to get this whole process taken care of before my (high school) season kicked off,” he said. “It feels so nice to have all that stress off my shoulders. It’s been stressful – the calls, the email, the film. It’s great. I can have 110 percent focus on my high school team. It’s nice knowing I don’t have to worry about getting recruited.”
Adams met some of his future teammates and also took part in a youth night program.
“I attended a class with one of their freshman up there,” he said. “I got huge, welcoming vibes from them. The first practice I was up there, all the kids introduced themselves. It was a great welcoming sense. It has the small-town feel I love. It’s not that far away. I can get home if I need to.”
“You couldn’t ask for a more special kid to coach,” said Larry Frank, who is starting his fifth year in charge of the Warriors’ fortunes. “With him, it was all about his teammates, his classmates.”
Adams may head for a business degree. He also works at a local elementary school.
“I’m gong to take my freshman year to get my gen eds (general education requirements) out of the way, get my feet wet and see if one of those classes sparks an interest,” Adams said.
“You’re going to a hell of a program.” Frank told Adams. “I know some colleges are going to wish they’d recruited him harder.”
“It’s such a great feeling,” Adams said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling that I get this great opportunity. It’s very humbling that Coach Moskowitz believes in me.”