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Steven Adams, first NZer to be drafted into the NBA

Today the Oklahoma City Thunder gained about 4 million additional fans as they drafted Steven Adams, the first New Zealand born player to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

NBA.com posted a great background story on Adams.

Raised in Rotorua, New Zealand, Steven is the youngest of 18 children born to Sid Adams, a near-seven-foot-tall English Navy man.

Sid’s atypical size proved to be a blessing for his children. On average, the males in the Adams clan stand about 6’10”, and the women, 6’5”. Six of Steven’s brothers have played for New Zealand’s national basketball team and his half-sister, Valerie Kasanita Vili-Adams, is a 2008 Olympic champion and a three-time world champion in shot put. Amazingly, despite his 7’0”, 255-pound body, Steven did not begin taking basketball seriously until 2007.

In 2006, Adams’ father, then in his mid-70s, died. At just 13 years of age, Steven became disillusioned and began to act out.

Crazy side-story:

After being drafted Adams got a flurry of tweets from his new teammates, welcoming him to the Thunder.

But James Harden, traded away from the Thunder just over a year ago for some pocket lint and a bag of chips, allegedly tweeted (then deleted):

“Steven Adams loooooooooooooooool”

It was suspect that despite thousands of retweets, there were no screenshots of the tweet. Harden says he doesn’t know what’s going on.

Image credit: collegebasketball.ap.org