Adams stays busy at camps
Thunder star Steven Adams has kept busy teaching at summer basketball camps in Oklahoma City and his native New Zealand.
He gave some nutrition tips. He offered some basketball pointers.
Steven Adams was right at home Thursday at Taft Middle School, teaching students about fitness and food at a Thunder Fit Clinic.
Not long ago, he was offering on-court instruction back in his native New Zealand, where the game has grown in the years since Adams played it there.
Thursday’s event was sponsored by Homeland. In New Zealand, Adams’ basketball camp sponsor is “a dairy sort of company,” he said.
“So it’s real weird, the kids after we do the camp, they get, like, a big block of cheese, some eggs and some bread and some milk,” Adams said. “The parents are, like, stoked, because they don’t have to go buy groceries anymore. They’re like, ‘Yes!’ It’s quirky, but it’s awesome.”
Adams was his typically engaging self on Thursday, and said it’s “always good” to be back connecting with kids in Oklahoma City.
But he’s proud to see the way basketball has taken off back home in the years since he came to the U.S., first to play college basketball at Pittsburgh, then four years of NBA ball with the Thunder.
“It’s definitely one of the main sports over there now,” Adams said. “Still rugby is the No. 1 sport, which is, that’s awesome. But basketball now is making its way there, which is cool.”
And more players are following a trail Adams helped blaze out of New Zealand and into American college hoops.
According to the New Zealand Herald, there were more than 50 men and 60 women from the country playing American college basketball last season, and the number is growing.
“A lot of colleges are actually coming over to New Zealand (to recruit),” Adams said. “I’m not sure if they’re using that as an excuse to come to New Zealand, like, ‘We’re just going for scouting, mate.’ We have really good vineyards, so they might be going there. Either way, it’s just awesome.”
Singler gets fit
Kyle Singler is known for a range of techniques to prep his body for basketball, and as he often does, the Thunder forward added something new this offseason.
Singler, who like Adams took part in the Thunder Fit Clinic Thursday at Taft, said he kept his repertoire mostly the same this summer, but in addition to his regular regimen — which includes yoga and cupping therapy, a technique to improve circulation — there was a new wrinkle.
It’s called Firebrand, and it involves intense workouts using resistance cables and a moving platform similar to the one employed in Pilates. The Firebrand facility is in Portland, and Singler spent much of his summer with family in Oregon.
Singler’s brother, E.J., who got married this summer in Italy, turned him onto the Firebrand workouts.
“I don’t want to be stagnant in my training,” Singler said. “I want to push myself to explore different stuff. I’m interested in how my body works and how it moves. With that, you’ve got to try new stuff.”
Fans attending the Oklahoma State Fair can get a taste of Thunder flair.
The Thunder Girls, Thunder Drummers and Storm Chasers will engage with fans and hand out pocket schedules this weekend. The OG&E ThunderBolt, an interactive experience that includes a photo booth, trivia station and more, will be set up at 14 Flags Plaza through Sunday.
There also will be a Thunder Shop with special pricing on Thunder merchandise. The shop will be located at 14 Flags Plaza through Sept. 24.
The Storm Chasers will be on hand Friday from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Saturday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m.; the Thunder Drummers from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday; and the Thunder Girls from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and noon-1 p.m. and 4 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.
Oklahoma City center Steven Adams huddles with students at Taft Middle School during Thursday’s Thunder Fit Clinic. Adams spent part of his summer at youth basketball camps in his native New Zealand.