Rosedale native Quentin Adams
BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Rosedale’s Quentin Adams, 26, has not only devoted his life to his love for basketball, but also used his passion for education to create the Mighty Hawks Youth Basketball Program.
“In order to succeed in education, you must have a positive outlook on what it is that you want to do in life,” Adams said. “That’s why our motto is ‘Life, Education and Then Basketball.’”
The program kicked off four years ago when Adams first started as a youth volunteer coach at Hillcrest High School. The first set of boys that began the program are now seniors in high school, with academic scholarships to college and a plan to major in sports management, journalism, engineering and more.
In addition to enforcing study halls and making sure that the boys are serious about their careers, Adams teaches them about the game of basketball, the techniques used and an idea of what it’s like to play on the collegiate level.
Throughout the summer, the boys play between 10 and 15 games per week through tournaments.
“It’s about getting these kids to where they want to go,” Adams said. “You have to show them that if you work hard in what you do, you will succeed.”
Adams, who was born in Brooklyn, moved to Rosedale at the age of 6, where he says he had a great group of friends that helped push him forward.
Adams’ basketball career began at Hillcrest High School during his freshman year when he made the team solely because he demonstrated hard work. Although he made the team again his sophomore year, it was not an ideal high school athletic experience, given that Adams shot into the wrong hoop during a game.
“My four years in high school were rough,” Adams said.
Adams, who was just 5 feet tall, was not the average height of a basketball player, but had an advantage in his speed. However, this did not work in his favor as he was cut from the team junior year as his speed was getting the best of him. Fortunately, after much practice and determination, Adams tried out for varsity during his senior year and made the team.
Following his high school graduation in 2010, Adams was recruited to play college basketball at Suffolk Community College in Long Island. In 2012, Adams went back to Hillcrest as a volunteer coach, where he now uses his expertise in the sport and his firm belief in education to not only mentor, but also motivate the youth in the Mighty Hawks program to persevere.
During tournaments or when walking down New York City streets, Adams is frequently stopped by young prospective ball players.
“Kids from all over the five boroughs know what the Mighty Hawks are, and who I am,” said Adams. “They walk up to me like ‘hey, my name is such and such, I follow you and see what you post on Facebook. Can you evaluate my game and tell me what I did wrong?’ It’s an amazing feeling. It goes to show that you never know who is watching you. It only pushes me to continue being positive and encouraging success.”
Just this week, Adams posted a documentary about the Mighty Hawks with a message of positivity that the program spreads. He has since received positive feedback. The video can be seen on Adams’ Facebook page: Quentin Oliver.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org