Multitalented Adams en route to be Ute
May 30, 2017 03:40PM ● Published by Travis Barton
Ben Adams has signed to play lacrosse for the University of Utah next year. (Betsey Bowen Photography)
Gallery: Multitalented Adams en route to be Ute [3 Images] Click any image to expand.
Ben Adams could go almost anywhere for college. The Cottonwood Heights native carried a 4.0 GPA, is a National Merit Scholar finalist, student body officer and an Academic All-American.
He is also one of the best lacrosse players in the state.
Adams was named the Utah Lacrosse Class B Defensive Most Valuable Player in May and he’ll be taking his talents to the University of Utah lacrosse team in the fall, a program that hopes to be the state’s first Division 1 program by 2019.
“To be part of the new program and play where I can have my friends and family all here. It’s just awesome, I think it’s tremendous,” Adams said.
Growing up, Adams said he thought they’d “never have (an NCAA program) here, to actually be one of the first is really neat.”
But Adams also didn’t think about lacrosse until he was in the seventh grade. Having played little-league football, Adams had a couple friends in Brighton’s youth lacrosse program who encouraged him to try out the sport.
“I picked up a stick and I’ve been playing since then,” he said. Adams said it’s the fast-paced, all-action style game that he loves, unlike football with a break between each play.
“It's a player’s game, so it’s all about the players and their (lacrosse) IQ and not about the coaches scheming and coming up with perfect plan,” Adams said.
The defenseman has proven to be extremely talented at that game.
Adams’ playing all four years for Skyline High School’s club team, two of which as team captain, has been a blessing for the Eagles.
“God-given size and speed helps,” in addition to his attention to detail and footwork, said head coach Drew Bicker about what makes Adams such a force on the field. “(He has) just a willingness to learn and he picks things up pretty quickly.”
It wasn’t until the summer before his junior year that Adams decided to pursue playing collegiately. After playing tournaments back east where the game is more widespread and ingrained in the sporting culture, he realized his talents matched up well against established competition.
While Adams will now enroll at Utah, he originally intended to play for the University of Pennsylvania.
“That was where I was set on going,” Adams said. But after returning home, looking at tuition costs and the hiring of Brian Holman as the Utes head coach, his head started to turn.
Adams said he met with Holman, loved what he had to say and was intrigued by the opportunity to build a new program.
“It was just something really neat and I wanted to be a part of it,” he said.
What might be most impressive is Adams won’t need any athletic scholarship, as he received full tuition through academics.
“Coaches love that,” Bicker said. He said the two-year captain has “always been one of the hardest workers both on the field and off the field.”
That work ethic was rewarded when Adams, who plans to major in biomedical engineering, was one of six lacrosse players in the state who was named Academic All-Americans.
“My parents and I have always felt that I need to go to a school I would go without lacrosse,” Adams said. “It’s always been more about academics for me. Lacrosse is four years and your academics is 40.”
Bicker said talent on the field is sometimes taken for granted, but not for Adams.
“That’s something that Ben took to heart,” Bicker said. “Just understanding that’s the piece that’s going to take you furthest. I think he really gets that and lacrosse is just an additional bonus.”