Central Bucks West's Collin MacAdams (above) committed to D-II California (Pa.) earlier this week. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Zach Drapkin (@ZachDrapkin)
The Central Bucks Family YMCA has seen its fair share of Collin MacAdams.
For MacAdams, regular Central Bucks West practices often aren’t enough to sate his thirst for competition. If he’s unsatisfied with some part of his game following practice, he’ll grab his stuff, exit the C.B. West gym, cross the street, and head right into the YMCA to get more reps in.
“You hear stories of him being over at the Y, spending countless hours practicing,” C.B. West coach Adam Sherman said. “He’s a bona fide gym rat.”
Even at the Bucks’ practices, MacAdams’s almost obsessive competitiveness is on full display. He didn’t walk on eggshells as an underclassman playing varsity and he certainly hasn’t isn’t holding back now as a senior.
No challenge is too intense for MacAdams to handle.
“We almost had to change our structure of our practice because he gets so intense,” Sherman said. “No matter who he played even at a young age, he was up for the challenge. We never had to tell him to be more assertive on the court; if anything, we had to tell him the opposite.”
It should be no surprise then that MacAdams bonded immediately with California (Pa.) head coach Kent McBride, in whom he sees the same competitiveness and confidence.
“His confidence is unbelievable. He knows he’s going to win, he’s a winner,” MacAdams said. “He’s confident, I’m a very confident guy, so that fits me well.”
That connection with McBride played a key role in MacAdams’s commitment to Cal U, which the 6-5 wing announced Tuesday night via social media. One of the most-recruited Division II prospects in the Philly area, MacAdams chose the Vulcans over Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) and a pair of offers from Kutztown and USciences.
“I just felt like it was the right time to make a commitment,” he said. “It feels good. All of the pressure is off my shoulders.”
Cal U made first contact with MacAdams back near the start of the summer, and from that point on, McBride made regular phone calls to get MacAdams to California, Pa. for a visit.
Once MacAdams concurred and stepped onto the 294-acre campus for an unofficial visit in September, he had found his place, feeling at home amongst the team and the general student atmosphere.
Although Cal U’s $59 million basketball arena, the Convocation Center, will become home soon enough, the Western Pa. area isn’t completely unfamiliar to MacAdams either. He has an uncle situated close by in Pittsburgh, certainly an added plus.
On the basketball court, the school was a great fit as well.
“I thought I fit in well with the players, their style of play. They play small ball, and I’ll be a 6-5 shooting guard/power forward there,” he said.
With the ability to attack the rim and convert outside shots, MacAdams’s dynamic skill set should prove useful for the versatile role he will occupy for the Vulcans, who are looking to reverse a recent trend of mediocrity.
The program has found success in the past, as evidenced by a 2008 run to the Elite Eight, but it hasn’t seen a 1,000-point scorer since 2006 and last finished above .500 in 2011-12.
McBride, who led Concord to a Mountain East Conference title in 2015-16, is just entering his second year after replacing long-time head coach Bill Brown, and, according to MacAdams, he will be the key to success for the Vulcans.
“I think the turnaround is coach Kent McBride,” MacAdams said. “He’s got good coaching history, he knows his stuff.”
MacAdams is excited to get to work under McBride, and after putting up 16.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.2 apg, and .591 FG% in his junior season, he’s confident he can not only end Cal U’s 1,000-point scorer drought.
“I see my role as an impact player,” he said. “I think I can be the best player in the PSAC. I think I have to put in a lot of work, but I definitely have the tools and confidence to do it.”
MacAdams’s sights are set much higher than that, however.
“Win the PSAC and win a national championship. That’s the plan,” he said.
He’s similarly ambitious regarding his upcoming senior season at C.B. West. The Bucks went 15-8 last season and lost in the first round of District 1 playoffs, but MacAdams thinks that the team will get further this time around.
“Win a state championship, win a district championship. Those are the goals,” he said. “We have the confidence and we have the tools to do it so this is the year for us.”
That’s no guarantee. But he’s pretty confident about it.