Adam Morrison Has Reached Rock Star Status

Jan. 29, 2006

With a look similar to former Doors lead man Jim Morrison and an elusiveness much like rocker Van Morrison, Gonzaga University's Adam Morrison's popularity has indeed reached rock star proportions in both Spokane and across the country.

His now trademarked `stache' has been imitated in every visiting arena the Bulldogs travel too, and rival fans have gone out of their way to get a look at one of the nation's premier basketball players. Even the folks at ESPN have made note of Morrison's look with several jabs on SportsCenter.

To that Morrison responds, "that's just going to make me keep it. It's the first time I've been able to grow facial hair."

While the look certainly has drawn national attention, it is his game that made Morrison a household name during his junior season. He's been compared to all the previous college greats; Larry Bird, Pete Maravich and John Havlicek. But as his teammates will tell you, Adam is probably a combination of those and a few more.

"Adam is Adam. He's his own person," stated senior J.P. Batista prior to a recent Bulldogs practice. "The guy's unbelievable and he's one of the best basketball players in the country, if not the best."

The debate for Morrison's talent is evident by watching any college basketball broadcast. He is routinely mentioned as one of the top players in the collegiate game by most commentators. And if you have time to surf the net, his name will immediately pop up on any message board debating the topic. Morrison, however, does not take kindly to the approach of being bigger than the team.

"To say it's my team is kind of selfish," Morrison added during his weekly press conference. "To say it's my team is to say it's become a one-man team, and that's what Gonzaga is not. I've got great teammates who set screens and get me open, and they have to be great teammates because they look for me more than I look for them."

Getting the ball from his teammates and putting the orange thing in the round thing has come second nature for the 6-8 junior forward for as long as many people can remember. His mother Wanda remembers Adam shooting baskets with his father John before he could talk. His game has continued to develop as he has gotten older, starting with the 1,904 points he scored during his days at Mead High.

Rated as the No. 298 best player out of high school his senior season, Morrison made an immediate impression in his first collegiate game at Madison Square Garden during the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic against Saint Joseph's. Morrison drove the length of the court and sank his first jump shot making pro scouts and media members salivate about what the future would hold for this relatively unknown.

Two season's later Morrison is regarded as a top five draft pick in this upcoming NBA Draft despite the fact Morrison will not make a decision on the next level until after Gonzaga finishes this season.

"I'm not thinking about the NBA right now," Morrison chipped in. "I want to take this team deep into the tournament and we are all working hard to change that (Gonzaga's recent string of second-round exits)."

The NBA will certainly wait for Morrison to make his decision but right now he is content becoming the best college player he can. With two 40-plus games to his credit to open the non-conference portion of the season, Morrison could join Frank Burgess as NCAA scoring champs from Gonzaga and leave people thinking...

`Gonzaga - isn't that the school Adam Morrison and John Stockton went to.'



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