JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Paxon star Isaiah Adams can do it all.
He can shoot. He can rebound. He can block shots. And, oh, yes, he can dunk.
Adams might be the best high school basketball player in the area — more on that in a moment. But the thing that sets him apart is how unselfish he is, on and off the court.
“The best thing he does is pass the ball,” Paxon head coach Toby Frazier said. “He and Daniel Watson always fight about who’s the best passer on the team. That’s his natural ability. His ability to see the floor and make passes, is up there with the top of his abilities.”
That’s a rare trait for a player who averages 23.5 points per game. Get him in the open court and Adams can make big things happen.
“I like to be a playmaker,” Adams said. “When I get the ball, I like to facilitate and get people open. That’s what I love to do.”
Next year, Adams will play for Johnny Dawkins at UCF. This year, he’s enjoying his senior year playing for Paxon alum Toby Frazier, who has demanded a lot from Adams.
“Everybody looks at your best player, especially when things go bad,” Frazier said. “I talked to him a lot about, knowing that eyes are going to be on you, especially when things go bad. He does a good job of keeping his head up and keeping a positive vibe. Our guys really look to him for that leadership.”
We mentioned that Adams may be the best player in the area. There are two others who can make a case for that honor. West Nassau’s Deebo Coleman and Hilliard’s Jacob Crews. Matchups against those top players get Adams’ attention.
“I look forward to those games,” Adams said. “When people think they have good talent and think they are the better players in the city, to see how I match up with all of them.”
Last year, Paxon made it to the final four. This year, Adams and his teammates have bigger dreams. This is a team that has, in large part, played together since fourth grade. That was about the time Adams realized that basketball might be a big part in his life.
“Ever since then, things have started to take care of itself,” Adams said. “It’s just so fortunate we all came to the same school. That’s why the chemistry is so high. We’re all together as a family.”
The family approach is one that Frazier has used in his coaching and Adams sees Frazier as something more than just a basketball coach.
“He’s influenced my game and my life as a whole,” Adams said. “It’s been more than just basketball with him. He teaches about basketball, but he’s more of a life-coach. He’ll give basketball analogies, and he’ll relate them back to life and how you are as a man. That’s what it’s all about because basketball is going to stop sooner or later.”
This year, basketball won’t stop for Adams until the very end, if things go to plan.
“We’re trying to win the state championship,” Adams said. “We’re going to take it game-by-game, but our whole goal is to get to the state championship and win it this year.”