Charlie Adams is also a
Senior National Speaker
for the
National Collegiate Scouting Association of Chicago

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Archive for October, 2009

He stoked the fire within

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Mike Edwards had a dream to be a college basketball player. He didn’t let the fact that he was missing part of a leg keep him from reaching his dream. As you pursue your dream of playing at the next level, I hope you draw inspiration from his amazing story.

Mike had been born missing a bone in his left leg. The leg didn’t grow correctly, leaving amputation as the only option. A dedicated basketball player, Mike held off on the amputation. He would come home from practice and soak his leg in a bucket of ice to handle the brutal pain. While other kids were thinking about what game to play after school, young Mike was thinking about whether he would have to have his leg removed. Finally, it got to be too much. At 13, he had the amputation and continued to play with an artificial leg.

Mike and his family moved to South Bend. He didn’t tell anyone about his leg and earned a spot on the varsity team at John Adams High School based on his basketball skills. He wore sweats all the time to hide his artificial leg. Eventually, he had to take off the sweats. You can imagine how surprised his teammates were! They really didn’t know how to act around him. There was a period of awkwardness.

Mike sensed it. Even though he was one of the most intense athletes to ever play at Adams High, he also knew when to loosen things up. As the team rode a bus across town to a scrimmage, Mike took off his artificial leg and held it out the window and waved it at passing cars. His teammates got the biggest charge out of that. Everyone laughed! Then, when they arrived at the opponent’s school, Mike put the leg on backwards. With the other school’s administrators waiting outside the bus to greet the visitors, Mike walked off with one foot heading forward and the other foot heading backwards. The administrators about hopped out of their pants!

Although Mike is one of the most intense, dedicated people I have ever met, he also knows when to have fun!

His story attracted the interest of John MacLeod, who was then the Notre Dame head basketball coach. He invited Mike to be a walk-on for the Fightin’ Irish basketball team, where he would serve as a fierce practice player. I remember interviewing him before practice one time. His eyes were squinted just a bit as he told me he would do anything to help the team in practice. “I will sweat blood,” he said. “Anything I can do to make these guys better!”

At the same time, he found humor. He often joked that he was a 20/20 player for Notre Dame. He would only get in a game if the team was up by 20 points or down by 20!

Mike went on and became the first disabled player in the history of division one College Basketball to play in a game, when he got in a game in 1998.

Stoke the Fire Within! What are you doing today to get closer to playing college sports?

Charlie Adams

Companies are seeking College Athletes – they have the Fire

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

In Connecticut recently to speak, I talked with a local CEO about the growing trend of companies going after College Athletes. Remember: playing College Sports is a 40 year decision, not 4.

He said he was a company exec and when a resume comes across his desk where the person was a College Athlete, it goes to the top of the list.

He said something very interesting. He said he likes hiring College Athletes because they don’t just expect raises unless they earn them. He said many people without College Athletic backgrounds simply expect a 3% raise because they should get it. He said athletes realize they need to deserve such a raise, and then do the work to merit it.

Charlie – What the exec said about college student athletes is so true. I spent 20 years working in the wholesale banking industry. Two of those years, I interviewed prospects from the Wharton School, Northwestern, U. of Michigan, U. of Chicago among others. These are the top finance education schools in the country. The most impressive prospects were those who played intercollegiate sports in college. They were always better prepared, asked great questions, demonstrated time-management skills, and had that competitiveness I was looking for. Also, I could never hire them. Why? They always had several other job offers that paid more than my bank was willing to pay! Keith Babb, Senior Scout, National Collegiate Scouting Association


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