Pittsfield Co-op Athlete of the Week: Amancho AdopoPITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield High School boys basketball starter Amancho Adopo is still a junior himself, but he is leading the way for the next generation on and off the court.
As a basketball player, Adopo has helped the Generals bring along younger players to fill gaps when other starters have not been available — all while putting Pittsfield in position to claim a piece of the North Division title.
And when he is not playing ball or working on his academics, Adopo does what he can to help youngsters in the city.
"I'm in the Senior Leader program, trying to help give back to the little kids," Adopo said this week. "For Christmas, we helped out a family, giving them a Christmas celebration. For Halloween, we set up a trick-or-treat for little kids."
While Adopo was helping enhance holiday celebrations around town, he was giving Pittsfield basketball fans plenty to cheer about inside the Generals' gymnasium.
Last week, he added to an already impressive resume with a 34-point performance against rival Taconic that gave Pittsfield its 11th win and a chance to win its division when it plays Drury on Wednesday night.
But even as he establishes himself as one of the top players in Berkshire County, Adopo is helping make sure the Generals will remain competitive for years to come.
"We have these sophomores starting to work into the lineup getting ready for next year and get ready for the tournament, and [Adopo has] done a good job giving them the touches and managing them on the court, too," Pittsfield coach Steve Ray said. "He's certainly our leader out there, and we're fortunate to have him."
Ray makes no bones about the fact that the Generals rise and fall on the performance of Adopo, a lanky guard with a nose for the basketball who prides himself as much on his rebounding as on his prolific scoring ability.
"He's more aggressive going to the basket than he was last year, certainly," Ray said. "He goes strong and fast to the basket. Where we really have to work on him is his outside shot — the pull-up jumper and his mechanics with that.
"But we're really happy with his development. In my opinion, he's probably the best player in Berkshire County right now. I know someone will make an argument for (St. Joe's) Tank (Roberson) or (Lee's Jake) LePrevost. And they're good. But I think [Adopo] is the best player in Berkshire County — certainly the most athletic."
Ray said he hopes over the next year that Adopo can refine his outside shot and improve his defense to the point that he will get some serious looks from college coaches. Adopo said he thinks he has a realistic chance to play Division II college ball, but his dream is to attend Georgetown University, which he visited while attending New York City's All Hallows High School.
Adopo came to Pittsfield for the first time last year. His family wanted him in an environment where he could focus on his academics, he said.
He could not be happier with how things have worked out.
"New York wasn't the place for me," Adopo said.
"It's very quiet (in Pittsfield), and honestly, I actually like it. I like the quiet environment. It gives me time to sit home and focus on what I have to do and just get my work done."