Steven Adams made the decision to leave Pitt and declare for the NBA draft strictly based on the desire to help his family, his former coach in New Zealand said this afternoon.
Kenny McFadden, who coached and mentored Adams at his Wellington basketball academy before Adams arrived at Pitt, said the situation with his family changed in the year Adams spent in the United States.
"His No. 1 goal always was to help his family," McFadden said. "They had some problems during the season. Some things happened."
Jamie Dixon discusses Steven Adams and Mike Rice
Pitt basketball head coach Jamie Dixon discusses the departure of Steven Adams and the controversy over his former assistant, Mike Rice, who was fired by Rutgers. (Video by Matt Freed; 4/3/2013)
McFadden declined to get into specifics about the family's situation. He said Adams was due back in Wellington later today or tomorrow and he would be addressing his decision with reporters there. He is currently visiting with family in another part of the country. McFadden said Adams is set to return to the United States in another week or so.
McFadden said Adams and his family had no problem with the way he was coached or utilized at Pitt.
"Not at all," McFadden said. "He was completely happy at Pitt."
McFadden said Adams is aware of the risks of leaving college too soon, but he said Adams was aware of recent injures to college players, including the leg injury to Louisville's Kevin Ware and the knee injury to projected top pick Nerlens Noel.
"The risks can be seen both ways," McFadden said. "You see what happened with the kid from Louisville and Noel. Injury can occur. I'm not saying it was a major reason in his decision, but you could say it might have been a factor."
McFadden added Adams is confident in his abilities to convince NBA scouts and general managers to use a first-round pick on him.
"He's confident in his abilities," McFadden said. "You could say he'd be better off coming back for another year of college, or you could say he might be better prepared getting thrown into the deep end and learning."
Ray Fittipaldo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rayfitt1. First Published April 3, 2013 8:15 PM