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    TIM PEELER: All-America Jumper Adams Has Dual Passions
     
     

    BY TIM PEELER

    RALEIGH, N.C. When Dexter Adams isn’t jumping, he’s hopping.

    Hip-hopping.

     

    Along with NC State men’s track teammate Eric “Eezee” Davis, the senior long-jumper likes to express thoughts in rhyme and song, thanks to a mini-recording studio they have set up in their apartment.

     

    For Adams, a three-time ACC champion in the long-jump, it’s the perfect outlet for the stress of college athletics and academics. He’s been performing in front of an audience since he was seven, when he became the drummer for the choir at Greensboro’s Grace Worship Center, where parents Charlie and Yvonne Adams serve as ministers.

     

    “I don’t want to downplay music by saying it is my hobby,” said the senior jumper. “Second to track, music is my life’s love. Ideally, I would like one day to be a producer.”

     

    Adams’ resume is pretty impressive of course at least in track. Two weeks ago, he won his third ACC championship in the long jump. Last weekend, he set a personal record with an NCAA-qualifying mark of 26-feet, 1/4-inch, the third longest jump by any collegiate athlete this year.

     

    Friday, Adams earned his first career All-America honors by finishing sixth at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., with a jump of 25-feet, 10 -inches. It was his second trip to the indoor nationals in the last three years and his third consecutive trip to some form of the NCAA nationals. As a sophomore, Adams finished 13th in the nation, though he scratched on a couple of his jumps and did not make it through the preliminaries.

     

    He’s suffered through some difficulties since then. He was injured for more than half of his sophomore outdoor season. He didn’t make indoor nationals last year, but he did make outdoor nationals. However, not long after he arrived in Sacramento, Calif., to begin preparations for the meet, he received a call from his family that his uncle, Bryan Smith, had passed away. Competing against the nation’s best jumpers was no longer the most important thing on his mind.

     

    In his final indoor competition, Adams put all those issues behind him and proved himself against the nation's best jumpers.

     

    Not too shabby for someone who never really thought he would participate in track on the college level. Adams wanted to play football or basketball, but his size and skill level didn’t get him much attention from the recruiters in those sports. But Page High School coach David Rogers assured Adams, who won a North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championship in the long jump as a senior, that he could get him a partial scholarship for track.

     

    Adams called running track on the collegiate level a “surreal” experience, but he has one more full outdoor season to earn more honors.

     

    After that, the sports management major would like to pursue a career in music. He’s already recorded hundreds of songs and beats, dating back to his freshman year of high school, when his parents bought him his first Yamaha keyboard. Initially, he had no way of saving those beats, but with a little software and a home computer, Adams began mixing tracks on his low-tech setup.

     

    Now, he and Davis have practically a full recording studio in their apartment. That’s where they wrote and recorded the “Wolfpack Anthem” that was played prior to soccer and men’s basketball games this past season. Click the above links to hear both versions of the song.

     

    For Adams, music is an inherited love. His father, Charlie, played saxophone in a 1970s funk bank called Cymbal 8, which signed a recording deal with an independent though a full album was never released.

     

    “My mom says he was really good,” Adams said. “He kind of regrets not pursuing it, but then he said he would have never found my mother and they would have never had me.”

     

    Adams’ mom, Yvonne, plays piano and sings as well.

     

    He hooked up with Davis, a junior jumper from Asheboro, after his freshman year and shared their passion for music. In October, they performed in the “NC State Athlete WITH Talent” show, a two-hour variety show featuring entertainment from NC State’s 650 athletes.

     

    Adams knows that the music industry has great rewards, as well as some strong temptations. But, as the son of two ministers, he tries to live a centered, humble life.

     

    “My parents have always had different expectations for me,” Adams said. “It was tougher to do bad, and then face them. It wasn’t just them scolding me, it was God scolding me. At first it was a burden, but it definitely made me stronger as a person.”

     

    And, with his own work as a member of Rollie Geiger’s track team, an All-American.

     

    You may contact Tim Peeler at tim_peeler@ncsu.edu.

     


     

     

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