Charity begins at home in New Zealand for OKC Thunder big man Steven Adams

OKC Thunder: NBA Star Steven Adams at NBL Grand Final between the Wellington Saints and the Hawke's Bay Hawks . (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: NBA Star Steven Adams at NBL Grand Final between the Wellington Saints and the Hawke's Bay Hawks . (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images) /

Like many of his OKC Thunder teammates and NBA players, Steven Adams is running basketball camps and giving back to his community.

OKC Thunder center Steven Adams held his free basketball camps in his native New Zealand this week.  The big Kiwi recognizes how important his role is his own country as he’s the main NBA star the children of New Zealand have as their connection to loving basketball and the NBA.

The OKC Thunder big man has never disappointed in this regard taking that role very seriously. Still, there is something extremely genuine about Adams which resonates in whatever country he appears.

Often referred to as a gentle giant that accolade was never more evident than his interaction with Ruben in the Whangarei District, New Zealand basketball camp Adams was holding.

As per the OKC Thunder social media account, Ruben came to the camp with the lone purpose of meeting Steven Adams and the big guy didn’t disappoint. As noted the youngster has cerebral palsy and you can see the minute Adams sees him he runs right to him and signs the ball Ruben is holding.

Although Steven may be best known for his body jarring screens or humorous off court musings it’s moments like this which highlight how special he is as a person.

Adams is in his native New Zealand conducting basketball camps for the kids since 2013 and for the fourth year in a row with Meadow Fresh as his main sponsor. The company provides food, bread, and milk to the camp attendees.

The areas Adams is visiting this year included Invercargill, Napier, and Whangarei. In addition to the camps, a fundraiser was held with a fashion show and charity auction to help raise funds for the Sports Pathways Trust.

Upon returning to the States, the big man will be reuniting with a team missing the two superstars who he had grown accustomed to spending most of his minutes on court with. This season the team will look significantly different and one would presume his role would, therefore, take on a different dimension.

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Last season, Adams never quite seemed himself which lead the Thunderous Intentions writing team to wonder if he was dealing with a nagging injury which never had time to heal. He certainly looks like his old self in the videos and that should bode well for this season.

Although the Thunder aren’t expected to be among the playoff squads his interaction with the youngsters and in particular Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be key to forming the next generation and form the team takes.

Each of Adams six seasons in the NBA he’s taken small steps in progression. Last year those steps seemed to fall short of what many felt he could deliver. One area we might witness great growth this coming season could be on the defensive boards. In the past, the team tended to rely on Russell Westbrook to grab those rebounds in order to quick start the offense.

We’ll keep our eyes peeled to see if the system adapts and therefore if Adams defensive glass totals skyrocket. Already a strong offensive rebounder this could pay dividends for the Big Kiwi in his personal stat compilation. Also, with Chris Paul more of a typical playmaking point guard and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander a strong pick and roll playmaker there may be additional growth for Adams in scoring.

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The center will also be reunited with one of his closest mates (Andre Roberson) whose set to return this season. Roberson made the trip to New Zealand in previous years to attend Adams camps and no doubt is anxious to get back on the hardwood again with his pal.