Nathan’s famous, but MHS roundball star is no hot dog

The Dominion Post
Nathan Adrian lives up to the hype.
After becoming the first Morgantown basketball player to receive a scholarship to WVU since long before he was even born, and committing to become a Mountaineer in September, Adrian has had all eyes on him.
From the extra media attention at MHS games, to the WVU fans he has already been approached by elsewhere in town, he has been in the spotlight. Even his own schoolmates seem to be caught up in the mania a little more than a typical student section, cheering gung-ho when Adrian hits a 3-pointer from 5 feet behind the arc, or blocks a shot by an unsuspecting opponent.
People wondered how the 6-foot-9, 190-pound MHS junior would handle the pressure. Turns out, they needn’t have.
“It doesn’t bother me too much,” Adrian said calmly and quietly, with a little grin. “I mean, I know it’s a lot of attention, but it doesn’t bother me.”
And when he says that, he’s not just saying it. The numbers don’t lie.
“He’s done pretty darn well,” Morgantown head coach Tom Yester said. “Last year he averaged 11 1/2 (points) and 6 1/2 (rebounds), and this year he’s averaging just about 20 and about 11 1/2. So he hasn’t quite doubled, but almost doubled his numbers. And he’s getting a lot of attention. I think he’s doing just fine.”
So, how does he do it?
After all, many players far older and more experienced than Adrian have been quickly forgotten after not living up to high expectations, or fallen victim to fame found quickly by becoming a premier athlete.
“He is a bright kid,” Yester said. “He seems to be able to put it in proper perspective and, of course, his parents are very level and steady, so that helps.”
Although Adrian is only a junior and his career as a Mountaineer is still more than a year away, the WVU coaching staff has to be getting eager for his arrival. It appears they may have gotten their hands on a player who can truly live up to the hype.
After all, it’s not every high school kid who can come through in the clutch and score 24 points and grab eight boards in one of the biggest, most emotional games of the season, as Adrian did Friday, in a 56-40 victory against rival University High. It’s even fewer kids who can do that while being watched by hundreds of people evaluating him as potentially the next great player for their beloved home-town university.
And how about the number of kids who can put up those kinds of numbers consistently, nearly doubling the numbers he put up before he was “famous”?
Yes, WVU should be getting eager.
Until then, Adrian just continues with his everyday business.
“I just want to come out and play my best,” he said.