It’s rare for a player for a town to play for a national championship. It almost never happens for two players to attempt the feat.
But that’s exactly what is happening on Sunday when Drury University takes on Metro State in the division II national championship game.
Ian Carter and Cameron Adams are leading the Panthers into Sunday’s 3 p.m. tipoff. The two played across Rogers Avenue from one another in high school but are on the same side trying to cut down the nets.
“It`s amazing, it`s just crazy,” Carter said. “It`s just like a dream come true. This is what you dream to do when you are little kid playing basketball watching the NBA and college basketball; you kind of want to be in this situation. To actually get to do it and get to go through the process you just want to enjoy it and take advantage of it.”
Carter, a Northside graduate, leads the Panthers with 5.6 rebounds per game while adding 9.2 points. Adams, a Southside graduate, adds 9.9 points per game.
It’s pretty easy to see why the Panthers went after the athletic tandem from Fort Smith.
“You look at Ian Carter and Cameron Adams and their growth,” Drury assistant Ja Havens said. “Ian is a junior now and as any freshman comes in and has some growing pains but he`s been a contributor since he`s been here. Cameron Adams is just an energy guy that made a huge leap from his freshman to his sophomore year.”
Adams is the team’s sixth man but he’s made a name for himself with his high-flying antics. The former Rebel not only brought the house down with a late jam in the semi-finals against the defending champion Western Washington, but he also brought the goal down.
“I just went up and dunked it,” Adams said. “It was a normal dunk to me. I`m running back and people are like `oh the goal is breaking`. I looked back and I was like that`s awesome. I just did that. Sportscenter top 10. Didn`t get on there though unfortunately.”
The Panthers have won 22 straight games, coming by an average of 19 points per game. A win in Atlanta on Sunday would not only continue the streak, it would give Adams and Carter a national championship.
Editor’s Note: You can catch the Drury vs Metro State game on Channel 5 Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.