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Adam John Morrison (born July 19, 1984, in Glendivemarker, Montanamarker) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.


Morrison played for three years at Gonzaga Universitymarker and was considered to be one of the top college basketball players in 2005–06. He was a finalist for the Naismith and the Wooden Award. He was named Co-Player of the Year with Duke Universitymarker's J. J. Redick by the United States Basketball Writers Association and won the 2006 Chevrolet Player of the Year award.

Early career

Morrison's father John was a basketball coach, and the family moved with his coaching career: Casper College in Northwest Casper, Wyomingmarker, Dakota Wesleyan Universitymarker in Mitchell, South Dakotamarker, and Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montanamarker. When Morrison was in the fourth grade, his father left coaching and the family moved to Spokane, Washingtonmarker. Adam became the Gonzaga men's team's ball boy.

When he was in the eighth grade, he lost 30 pounds (14 kg), and while attending a basketball camp at Gonzaga during this time, he felt sick, later saying about his experience at the camp, "I think I made one shot the whole three days. I was sicker than a dog. I didn't want to play. I couldn't do anything." Shortly after this, Morrison was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He took his diagnosis surprisingly well; the second time a nurse came to administer insulin, he stopped her, telling her, "Since I'm going to be doing this the rest of my life, you might as well show me how to do it." However, his illness did not keep him from becoming a star at Mead High School in Spokane. In his senior year he broke single-season and career scoring records in his high school conference, and led Mead to the finals of the state tournament. Despite playing in the final game with hypoglycemia so severe that he nearly suffered seizures, he scored 37 points in a losing effort. It was Mead's only loss that season. Morrison was not heavily recruited out of high school.

Gonzaga University

He arrived at Gonzaga Universitymarker to play for the Gonzaga Bulldogs in 2003. In his freshman year he averaged 11.4 points per game (ppg), with a season-high 22 points against St. Mary's. Gonzaga won the West Coast Conference (WCC) regular-season title. Morrison was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team.

In his sophomore year Morrison averaged 19.0 ppg. He scored a season-high 28 points at home against San Franciscomarker, including the winning shot with 0.6 seconds to play in the game. Gonzaga again won the WCC regular-season title. Morrison made the All-WCC First Team, and in addition was selected to the Basketball Times All-West Coast Team as well as being named an honorable mention Associated Press All-American.

In his junior year during Gonzaga's first two games of the 2005-06 season at the Maui Invitational, Morrison played well against two of the sport's top programs. In the first round, Morrison scored 25 points in a Gonzaga win over Marylandmarker. He followed up this performance with 43 points in a triple-overtime win over Michigan Statemarker in the semifinals. He matched that output against in-state rival Washington December 4, 2005, in a losing effort. However, Morrison and the Zags bounced back a week later, defeating Oklahoma Statemarker after he banked in a three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to give Gonzaga a two point lead and eventually the win.

In the regular season, he had 13 games of 30-plus points, with five of them over 40. At 28.1 points per game, he was the nation's leading scorer in 2005-2006. His scoring totals against teams in the "major" conferences are no less impressive; he averaged 28.5 points in 11 such games. On February 18, Morrison recorded a career high 44 (including 37 in the second half alone) points against Loyola Marymount Lionsmarker in a winning effort.

Morrison led the Zags with 24 points in a 2006 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen match against UCLAmarker, which the Zags lost in the final seconds after UCLA had eliminated a 17-point deficit coming out of the first half. With seconds left, the lead having slipped away, Morrison broke down in tears and collapsed to the court. He was eventually helped to his feet by opposing players. He has been both criticized and praised for this unbridled show of emotion. He later came in second as the national player of the year to friendly rival J. J. Redick of Dukemarker.

This turned out to be Morrison's final collegiate game, as he later decided to turn pro, forgoing his senior year of college.

Professional career

Morrison was selected 3rd overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, behind Andrea Bargnani (Toronto Raptors) and LaMarcus Aldridge (Chicago Bulls). On July 6, 2006, the Bobcats signed Morrison to a two-year contract. On November 1, 2006 in his NBA debut against the Indiana Pacers he scored 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. He was the first player picked by "Manager of Basketball Operations" Michael Jordan in his tenure with the Bobcats. He scored his career high on December 30, 2006 with 30 points in a win against the Indiana Pacers. However, Morrison lost his starting spot midway through the season, in part for his defense and shooting only 37% for the year.

On October 21, 2007, the Charlotte Bobcats announced that Morrison had sustained a severe injury to his left knee in a pre-season exhibition game against the L.A. Lakers while defending Luke Walton, bending his knee laterally and falling to the ground in pain. An MRI scan performed after the game indicated a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).On November 10 Morrison underwent surgery to repair the damage. The injury was confirmed to be a torn ACL requiring several months of physical therapy after the knee has healed, meaning he missed the whole 2007-08 NBA season.

On February 7, 2009, Adam Morrison, along with Shannon Brown, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vladimir Radmanović. Bobcat coach Larry Brown reported that the main reason Morrison was traded was that he could not handle the pressure associated with being chosen third overall and as such he did not want to stay in Charlotte. Brown said other factors such as a Bobcat glut at the guard and small forward positions and recovery from a knee injury were secondary to how expectations "rattled" Morrison.

Despite his almost non-existent playtime during the season and especially in the run for the Lakers' 15th title, Morrison's play showed promise during the summer. During his debut in the summer league, Morrison had 24 points 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and only 1 turnover. Then, he had 22 points and hit 4 shots from the three-point line in the following game.

International

Morrison has earned four caps for various junior U.S. national teams.Morrison was selected to train with the senior men's team in preparation for the 2006 FIBA World Championship but was cut prior to the tournament.

Diabetes

Adam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) at age 13. He was playing in an 8th grade basketball game, and as the game went into overtime he began having seizure-like symptoms, which prompted his father to take him to the hospital where the diagnosis was made.

Morrison, who manages his diabetes to the point of eating exactly the same meals at the same time on game days, is considered a role model for children with the disease and their families. During his freshman year at Gonzaga, Morrison and his life with diabetes were a subject of a four-page article in Sports Illustrated. On the first day that the issue appeared in retail outlets, more than 50 parents of children with diabetes contacted the Gonzaga athletics department asking if Morrison could speak to their children.

Off the court, Morrison regulates his blood sugar with an insulin pump attached to his abdomen.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

2006–07
Charlotte
78 23 29.8 .376 .337 .710 2.9 2.1 .4 .1 11.8
2008–09
Charlotte
44 5 15.2 .360 .337 .762 1.6 .9 .2 .1 4.5
2008–09
LA Lakers
8 0 5.5 .333 .250 .500 1.0 .4 .0 .0 1.3
Career
130 28 23.4 .373 .336 .714 2.4 1.6 .3 .0 8.7

References

  1. ESPN - Redick, Morrison named co-players of year - Men's College Basketball
  2. Grant Wahl, "Jewel of a Duel", Sports Illustrated, February 28, 2006. (Available online only to SI subscribers.)
  3. Player Bio: Adam Morrison :: Men's Basketball
  4. C.W. Nevius.blog : The Big Weep — Adam Morrison cries, America squirms
  5. [1]
  6. ESPN - MRI reveals torn ligament in left knee of Bobcats' Morrison - NBA
  7. BOBCATS: Adam Morrison Tears ACL
  8. http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=4002
  9. http://elitestv.com/pub/2009/07/summer-league-july-11
  10. "Team USA announce 15-man squad", FIBA2006.com, July 26, 2006. Accessed 2006-08-31.


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