Editor's Note: The following is a Press Release from Georgetown's SID Mex Carey.
WASHINGTON - When Georgetown University senior Tyler Adams (Brandon, Miss./Brandon) first came to the Hilltop for the 2011-12 academic year, he had dreams of someday being a starter for the Hoyas men's basketball team.
On Saturday, March 7 when Georgetown hosts Seton Hall for Senior Day at Verizon Center (noon), Adams will get that chance.
The 6-9 senior came to Georgetown along with classmates, forward Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) and guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends). Four games into his freshman year, he was diagnosed with a heart ailment that ended his basketball career.
Since that time, Adams has remained a part of the team, assisting in practice, traveling with the team and cheering on his teammates during the games on the bench. Head Coach John Thompson III has also referred to him as a "junior coach." Adams has remained on scholarship during his time at Georgetown.
"When my situation came about I didn't want to mourn or be sad and be a burden on the team, my main focus was just keeping a positive energy and helping the guys out," Adams said. "Whether that was wiping the floor or helping Josh (Smith) or Mikael (Hopkins) with their next post moves, the main focus was just helping the team as much as I could.
"I'm not the type of person who gets down on things because I know in life people have it worse than I do so that was the approach I took with it and that's what helped get through the emotions I may have had. Coach Thompson has made me feel like I'm part of the team, I dress for practice, attend every work out and I probably watch more film than the guys who play so I definitely feel like I've been involved and that definitely helped me out emotionally."
Thompson and the GU compliance department contacted the NCAA this week to inquire about a waiver that would allow the senior to suit up with his classmates and appear "briefly" in a game.
The NCAA granted the waiver on Thursday and Adams will suit up with Hopkins, Trawick and his teammates on Saturday morning against Seton Hall.
"He told me with the team yesterday," Adams said with a smile. "He called us together in a group and mentioned how he doesn't do what other coaches do with starting seniors, that it wasn't that big of a deal to him, but at the end of the conversation he said, ‘But we're going to make an exception and start you.'
"I thought it was a joke, everyone started laughing and it kind of shocked me, but everyone was excited when they heard the news."
Adams appeared in four games as a freshman during the 2011-12 season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.3 rebounds. He set career highs with eight points and six rebounds in a win over NJIT on Dec. 3, 2011, his last game appearance.
Here is the full video from Tyler's media availability Friday: