FORT MYERS, Fla. — High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.) forward Edrice “Bam” Adebayo has a great nickname for a player who likes to run and dunk, but he’s had it long before he became a basketball player.
“My mom gave it to me,” Adebayo said. “The short version is I was like 9 months old and had just started walking and we were watching the Flintstones and I tipped over a coffee table, so it had nothing to do with basketball.”
Adebayo, who transferred from Northside in Pinetown, N.C., for his senior season, led the Cougars (8-1) with 19 points and nine rebounds in a 67-63 defeat of Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio) in the quarterfinals of the City of Palms Classic on Monday.
Adebayo is a Kentucky signee and the No. 9-ranked senior recruit according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, Though he’s 6-10 and 260, he gave away 42 pounds to Westerville center Andre Wesson, an Ohio State recruit who’s 6-9 and 302 and listed as the No. 59 junior.
While Adebayo was occasionally pushed around, he fouled out Wesson with nine points.
“He was a big guy, but you have to be athletic to play this game and get up and down the floor and he got in foul trouble, so I took advantage of that,” said Adebayo, who is averaging more than 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.
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With the win, High Point gets a semifinal meeting Wednesday night with high-scoring No. 2 Chino Hills (Calif.) which defeated No. 1 Montverde (Fla.) Academy 83-82.
“I think we’ll beat them because they don’t have size,” Adebayo said. “They like to run and gun and we like to run, so it’s going to be a good matchup.”
High Point coach Brandon Clifford said his team is accustomed to high-speed basketball.
“Our motto last year was ‘Let it Fly,’ but (Chino Hills) is bringing it to a whole new level,” Clifford said. “We have to rebound, transition back and make it difficult on them. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Chino Hills shot 45 three-pointers in its win over Montverde and had a lot of second-chance baskets that began with long rebounds.
“I don’t know how you stop that,” Clifford said. “I’m hoping that Bam gets the ball with his long arms. That’s the key. The key to stopping them is to rebound the basketball and not letting them get those pitch-out threes.”