It's become almost expected to see the best Austin high school boys basketball recruit commit to the hometown University of Texas at Austin. But, that changed with 2021 Westlake prospect KJ Adams, who committed to college basketball power Kansas during his Friday July 31st announcement.
"It would have been easier and predictable for me to stay close to Austin or in Austin," Adams told VYPE Media in an interview. "I hope that others will consider what is right for them and not where everyone thinks they should go."
Adams is the first Austin area high school boys basketball player to commit to The University of Kansas since former Westlake hooper Luke Axtell transferred from The University of Texas after the 1997-1998 collegiate basketball season.
"I didn't know that another Westlake alum had gone before me until the day I committed and the KVUE newscaster mentioned it," said Adams. "For me, it just affirmed my decision knowing that someone before me had done it and been successful."
Separating from the area pack may have been unintentional, but the commitment by the sixth-ranked 2021 high school basketball recruit from Texas definitely followed a great amount of evaluation. That's mainly because he had to find the right fit among his 10 Power Five offers and 13 total collegiate opportunities.
"The recruitment process has been long and I had thought I would wait until November," said Adams. "[But] I was getting an indication that a visit wasn't going to happen, so I figured I could make the decision based on my own research."
"All of the schools on my list have great academics, great facilities, great coaching staffs and players," he continued. "What seemed different to me from other places was the winning history of Kansas. In my conversations with Coach [Bill] Self, it was clear that he cares about his players on and off the court. He told me whatever my ceiling is, he is going to help me reach that level and that made me really excited. Also, he talked to me about the academic environment of the school and he had the answers and didn't have to check with others, and that made me know he knows his stuff."
Adams may be a year away from his first visit to KU, but he's ready to call it home.
"The small campus and the ability to practice against quality players every single day is what excites me, along with the fact that it's a basketball school that sells out every game," said Adams. "Stepping into Allen Fieldhouse is going to be crazy. I can't wait."
Before Adams heads to Lawrence, Kansas, he has another Texas high school basketball season to prepare for it.
"I'm really looking forward to my senior season at Westlake," said Adams. "We have a good squad coming back and I'm ready to hit the court with them. Working on the areas of my game that I feel need to be fine tuned is what I will do to prepare for going to Kansas."
"Having the [commitment] decision already made will allow me some freedoms," he added. "I can enjoy my senior year to the fullest, with the worry of a decision being done. I'm excited to see how my game will translate to the next level, so every day I'm working on my game."