Ex-Falcon paying his college dues
Basketball: Adam Pahl makes adjustment to USports hoops with UNBC
Wednesday, Mar 07, 2018 08:58 am
The first-year university learning curve is behind a former Foothills Falcons basketball star, now it’s time to take his college career to a new trajectory.
Adam Pahl averaged 8.6 minutes per game and 1.16 points per game in his first season with Prince George’s UNBC Timberwolves in 2017-18, a far cry from when he was the MVP for the Falcons the two previous years.
However, that’s about par for the course for a rookie in USports men’s basketball, according to T’Wolves head coach Todd Jordan.
“We are really happy with Adam — it’s very rare in this league that you see big time impact from a first-year guy as far as playing major minutes,” Jordan said. “There was a learning curve for him. He had some really good weeks and there were weeks, where he will tell you himself they weren’t so great. Long-term it is going to payoff for him. As a first-year guy, he did very well for himself.”
The six-foot-six forward is a true freshman and he is the first to admit it was a whole lot different when he was the go-to guy with the Falcons.
“The level of play is so much higher but I really enjoyed it,” Pahl said. “I think it is for most rookies in the league. It took a while for me to kind of accept and try to find my role on the team outside of what I am used to.
“That was a learning curve for sure.”
The learning curve meant some weighty issues on the court.
“I was always playing guys who were older and had more weight,” Pahl said. “Throughout the year I had to learn how to use my feet. I am not going to win the strength battle with guys who are 22-23. I just tried to bring energy in practices and when I got into the games, tried to make the best of my minutes.”
His biggest game was against the UPEI Panthers after the Christmas break. He took advantage of the holiday to touch base at his Okotoks home and get relaxed after his first few grinding months of being a first-year university student athlete.
“You get into school and you have to get used to balancing that schedule and at Christmas break I got to take a breath and got in the gym with my dad (Jeff) and got back to basics a little bit,” Pahl said.
“I came back from Christmas feeling way more confident and that (UPEI) was my first game back and I got to show what I could do a little bit.”
Pahl finished with nine points, including hitting his only three-point attempt and racked up 16 minutes of playing time, his second highest amount of the year in the Dec. 29 match in Dalhousie, Nova Scotia.
The T’Wolves finished with a 10-10 record in the tough CanWest League. They won the team’s first-playoff game in history against the Winnipeg Wesmen 71-68, in which Pahl hit a three-pointer on Feb. 8.
UNBC’s season ended when they were swept by the U of A Golden Bears, the no. 2 team in the nation, in two games in mid-February.
“It was great to see how we stood up — and how I stood up individually — against one of the top teams in the country,” said Pahl, who played in all of the T’Wolves games.
He definitely stacks up when it comes to hitting the books.
Pahl is majoring in chemistry and plans to teach the subject in the future.
“My teammates helped me a lot with making the transitions from high school,” said Pahl, who estimates he finished with a 3.4 GPA in the first semester.
He also keeps track of his alma mater, where his brother Josh plays forward for the Falcons.
Foothills will play in the South Central Zone playoffs this week. They play the Holy Trinity Academy Knights at 7:45 p.m. on March 7 and the Chestermere Lakers on Thursday. The final is Saturday at 2 p.m. All games are at Chestermere High School. (If Chestermere and Foothills both downed HTA in the round-robin, Thursday’s game would be the final if both teams agree).