Amancho Adopo stole the ball in the backcourt, raced the other way for an uncontested slam dunk and brought the Pittsfield crowd to its feet on Thursday night at Hoosac Valley High School. But Adopo's biggest smile of the night came at game's end, when the team's statistician told him how many rebounds he recorded in a 66-44 win over the Hurricanes.
"Really? Twenty-four?' Adopo asked, grinning from ear-to-ear.
Media counts put the number at 21, but either way, it was an impressive -- but not unexpected -- complement to the 24 points Adopo scored against Hoosac.
Afterward, he said rebounding always has been a key to his game.
"I'm proud of myself because, I'm a guard, and it's a big accomplishment for me to have a lot of rebounds," Adopo said. "That's what gets most of my points -- the fact that I can jump so high, get more rebounds and put it back up."
The Pittsfield junior from the Ivory Coast by way of New York City left a strong impression on Hoosac Valley coach Bill Robinson, who held Adopo up as an example for the kind of hustle a veteran coach would like to see from his players this winter.
"Adopo is the type of kid -- and I had this conversation with my kids in practice the other day -- he earns things," Robinson said. "Nothing is given to the kid. He knows what it takes and rellishes the fact that, 'I've got to earn it. I've got to go get it.'
"He understood that and grasped that to this point, and he goes and gets it."