Mallory Adams granted extra year of eligibility by NCAA

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Then-sophomore forward Mallory Adams attempts to pass to a teammate during the Aztecs' 55-45 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17, 2019 at Viejas Arena.

by Breven Honda, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State women’s basketball announced junior forward Mallory Adams was granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA on June 24.

Adams played six games in 2019-20 before her season was cut short due to knee surgery.

Adams, who is a native of Frisco, Texas, said she was surprised once the news broke because not all medical redshirt applications get accepted.

“I was really excited,” Adams told The Daily Aztec. “I know that sometimes the process is weird and it is not always granted. I was super excited to hear the news. I literally ran down the stairs to tell my parents.”

The rehab process has not been unusual for Adams because it was not the first time she tore her ACL.

Adams said with the right mentality and support, she’ll be back on the floor.

“I just keep it in the back of my head that this is very temporary,” Adams said. “I tore my ACL in high school so it is nice to know that I got through it back then and now I have way more resources and more people behind me to help me through this process.”

Head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson said it is crucial for the program that Adams is an Aztec for another season.

“We were pretty hopeful that was going to happen, but it was nice to see it was officially done,” Terry-Hutson told The Daily Aztec. “We’re so happy to have her around our program for three more years. She’s an impactful player, not just on the court, but off the court. She has been working hard to get back and the rehab reports have been good.”

In the six games Adams played last season, she averaged 12.8 points, six rebounds, 69.7% from the free-throw line and 27.3% from 3-point range.

However, Terry-Hutson said Adams’ freshman numbers mirror her true potential.

In 2018-19, Adams averaged 12.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 69.9% from the charity stripe and 31.9% from beyond the arc in 32 games played, in which she started all of them.

“She can score at all levels, she can get to the rim, she can shoot the three, and most importantly her rebounding was crucial and we missed that last year with her not being on the floor,” Terry-Hutson said. “I’m excited to get her back not only for her rebounding numbers, but for her to grow her offensive and defensive game as well.”

Both Terry-Hutson and Adams said the injury and rehab process has been a blessing in disguise, but for different reasons.

Adams said it was a blessing in disguise because she was able to rehab and get better at home in Texas.

For Terry-Hutson, however, she said getting hurt became a positive outcome because it helped Adams get the opportunity to lead despite being off the court.

“The biggest leap is that she’s turning herself into quite a leader,” Terry-Hutson said. “The girls have always looked up to her, she’s been a captain, she’s voted as a captain by both the staff and by her peers. She’s really stepped nicely into that role, which is really hard to do when you’re not on the floor. She’s just a positive person and so encouraging and really has the respect from her teammates.”

Despite being hurt, she is still around her teammates and now with three more years of eligibility, Adams is now in the same grad year as sophomores Isabela Hernandez and Talia Sireni.

“I talked about how I had a lot of people behind me and my teammates are some of the main ones,” Adams said. “Isabela was texting me, ‘I’m so excited we get another year together.’ It is kind of weird that we are now in the same graduation class.”

In addition to Hernandez and Sireni, Adams said her relationship with junior guard Sophia Ramos is memorable because of the place they both call home.

“I feel like it adds something special, at least for both of us,” Adams said. “It’s fun for people to recognize us as ‘The Texas Kids.’ It also made me feel close to home because she was my roommate freshman year and it felt like I had a piece of home.”

Ramos, who is from San Antonio Texas, said she was happy and talked about the benefits of getting the redshirt.

“Her and I talked for awhile about getting that year back because we didn’t get her for that long this year,” Ramos said. “I’m excited she gets to showcase a full year’s worth.”

Ramos said the beginnings of their relationship began before they stepped foot as freshman on Montezuma Mesa.

“It feels like we’ve been best friends since we were kids,” Ramos said. “Our relationship sparked right away. We were able to see each other at a tournament in Dallas and we felt that we already knew each other. We gave each other a hug and knew we were going to teammates and roommates.”

The Texas Kids, who traveled halfway across the country to play hoops at SDSU, both made the 2018-19 Mountain West All-Freshman Team, and Ramos said living together and growing off the court helped the duo produce on the court.

“I don’t think either of us planned on connecting right away,” Ramos said. “It helped that we lived together, that we were already bonding off the court and then seeing how we both broke out together freshman year together was super cool.”

Ramos and the rest of the program will soon be able to see Adams’ return to Steve Fisher Court.

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