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It’s Time to End the Curse of the Phonebooth

Jackson State Assistant Coach Tyler Adams inadvertently threw off the balance

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Georgetown Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Since March 7, 2015, there has been a curse on the Georgetown Hoyas and their home court, Capital One Arena. The game at the arena that was formerly known as the Verizon Center, and the MCI Center before that, saw a triumphant return of Georgetown legend Tyler Adams. Adams—now an assistant coach at Jackson State—scored the opening bucket of the game against Seton Hall that day. The Hoyas, led by John Thompson III, called timeout for the substitution but did not reciprocate by allowing a bucket. Instead, Georgetown, took the 2-point lead all the way to a 73-67 win.

The resulting curse was not Adams’ fault at all, but it’s time to right that wrong by allowing Adams to score the first basket of the Jackson State game on Saturday. Yes, that’s right, Assistant Coach Tyler Adams needs an opening dunk at the Phonebooth to finally reverse the curse for the Hoyas!

The many struggles of the once-illustrious program are well documented. Since that game against Seton Hall, Georgetown has a record of 107-147 overall and 40-105 within the BIG EAST. Of course, that includes the COVID year where the Hoyas played at McDonough and ended up winning the conference tournament, but generally things have been pretty dismal for Georgetown over the past 8 years.

As a refresher, the 6-9 forward 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.

Adams 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 referred to him as a “junior coach.” Adams 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 during his senior year. “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.”

Before the Senior Game, Thompson and the GU compliance department contacted the NCAA inquired 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 and Adams suited up with Hopkins, Trawick and his teammates that Saturday against Seton Hall.

In his final game before Senior Day—early on in his freshman year—Adams had tallied 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, and an assist in 11 minutes of game time during a blowout 84-44 win over NJIT. Needless to say, Adams showed promise on the floor.

The highly touted recruit from Mississippi initially committed to Duke before changing his mind and pledging to JT3 and his staff. That heart ailment cut short his freshman year, and ultimately his basketball career. Instead of literally or figuratively withdrawing himself from the team, Adams rededicated himself to Georgetown. Adams became every bit as impactful as the other graduating seniors, serving as another coach on the bench and as a mentor and inspiration to his teammates. He was the ultimate team player on a team he barely played a game for.

His story, thanks to a memorable Senior Day start, has been rightfully told and retold. Adams is a Forever Hoya.

Adams has taken his “junior coach” college experience into the coaching realm and has been progressing nicely. Jackson State University profiled Adams, saying:

Tyler Adams was named the assistant men’s basketball coach at Jackson State University in May 2022. Adams, a native of Brandon, Mississippi, came to JSU after serving as the assistant coach at Alcorn State. He helped the Braves win the SWAC regular season championship in 2021.

Before, Adams served as assistant boys coach at the Kinkaid School (Houston). Adams was also an assistant coach at Jones County from 2017-18. He also served as an assistant coach at Columbus High School. Adams spent the 2019-20 year as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He aided the team to a 14-8 overall record, which included a 12-game winning-streak.

Adams was a four-year star at Brandon High School, where he was named All-Star as a sophomore and senior. He would sign to play at Georgetown but had his playing career cut short because of a heart issue. During his final three years at Georgetown, Adams was a player/coach, assisting the coaching staff with video breakdowns and scouting. Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Georgetown in 2015

Jackson State is playing well these days, presumably mainly because of Tyler Adams’ coaching.

On second thought, Georgetown will need all the points they can get. Maybe they shouldn’t give away any buckets to the opponent, you know, via coaches dunking or otherwise.

And, come to think of it, nothing bad could possibly be attributed to something so absolutely positive for this Georgetown program. There is no actual curse, just a serious of bad luck and some poor decisions.

Tyler Adams, it will be great to see you this Saturday and to follow you throughout your continued success. HOYA SAXA!