Texas Tech's Luke Adams can play — and hear — the game
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Thursday, December 22, 2011
12/22/11 at 6:19 AM
During the first several years of his basketball life, Luke Adams could see the game and feel the game - but he couldn't hear it.
Now a Texas Tech freshman guard, he was born almost completely deaf. Adams says he has no hearing in his right ear and about 10 percent hearing capability in his left ear.
At the age of 12, he was fitted with a cochlear implant - an electronic hearing device, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "designed to produce useful hearing sensations to a person with severe to profound nerve deafness by electrically stimulating nerves inside the inner ear."
With the cochlear implant, Adams hears virtually everything.
"It's pretty crazy," Adams said during a telephone interview. "As the technology got better, it impacted a lot of people. You know when you open a Sprite and you hear that fizz? I couldn't hear that before. When I first heard it, I was like, 'Whoa, what was that?' You hear so many little things now."
Like Oklahoma State's Keiton Page, Adams is a coach's son. His father is the son of Mark Adams, who in 2010 coached the Howard (Texas) College basketball team to the national junior-college championship.
Like Page, Luke Adams was a prolific high school scorer. As a senior at Big Spring, he was the Texas Class 3A leader at 26.9 points per game.
Like Page, Adams is a shooter. Against Grambling State on Sunday, because Red Raider guard Toddrick Gotcher was sidelined with an ankle injury, Adams got his first career start and capitalized with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range.
"He can really shoot it and score," said coach Billy Gillispie, whose Texas Tech team plays at Oral Roberts on Thursday. "He's done a good job of making us better offensively."
Said Red Raider center Robert Lewandowski: "Luke is a great kind of spark player. He plays hard all the time and he's a great shooter ... just a great all-around player. He's faced difficultly in his life, obviously, but I've never heard him complain about that. I love the way he plays."
Also like Page, Adams is undersized at 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds. Adams could have been a scholarship player at any number of smaller schools, but chose to walk on at Tech and compete for minutes in the Big 12.
"That's another reason the Big 12 was attractive to me," Adams said. "If (Page) can do it, I can do it - it was that type of thing. Keiton made it more of a positive way of looking at it."
Original Print Headline: Tech's Adams can play, and hear, game
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