MHS’s Adrian attempts to move on
End of prep career tough to stomach
The Dominion Post
Morgantown High senior Nathan Adrian was given a 6-8 week recovery time for a broken foot on January 28.
He was on the court leading the Mohigans to victory in the Class AAA Region I Sectional II final against crosstown University High, just four weeks and four days later.
Now, beginning what should have been Week 7 of recovery, he said his foot is pain-free, he is finished with all physical therapy and special treatment, and he is ready to get back to his normal basketball routine.
How did he do it so fast?
“I drink a lot of milk,” he offered with a laugh. “I’ve always had healthy bones, so that probably helped.”
Adrian put a wrap on his high school career Thursday, recording 17 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks in the state quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center, as MHS fell to South Charleston, 48-39.
“That I will never play with my high school friends again really hit me the other day, and that’s hard, but I have to move on to the next phase of my life,” Adrian said.
The 6-foot-9 senior, who ended the season averaging 20.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.2 blocks a game, is now preparing to enroll at WVU in the first summer session, which begins May 20.
Adrian, who is undecided on his major, is the first local player to receive a scholarship to play men’s basketball for the Mountaineers since Jay Jacobs, in 1956.
“I’ve been waiting for it for a while and now that it’s actually coming, I’m excited for it,” Adrian said. “It’s going to be something new and I gotta make sure I’m ready for it.”
He said he will begin lifting, running and working out in the gym today.
“I want to come in and be a shooting presence and open up more room inside for the post men and make more room for them to work,” said Adrian, who shot 50 percent from the field this season.
“I hope I’m able to [contribute immediately], but in the end that’s not really my decision. I’m going to just work as hard as I can to get that playing time.”
Adrian, who has lived in Morgantown and been a WVU fan his whole life, was at a loss to explain what happened this season. The Mountaineers finished 13-19, with the second most losses in school history, and won just six games in their first season in the Big 12 Conference.
“I don’t know what happened, I couldn’t tell you what the problems were,” Adrian said.
“It didn’t go well, but you’ll have that every once in a while. I know coach [Bob] Huggins will get it all back together and we’ll have a good season next year.
“He’s a great coach and he will figure something out to get us back to being a better team where we usually are and back to the NCAA tournament making runs.”
Adrian said the Mountaineers’ woes didn’t change how he saw himself fitting into the program.
He is hopeful his freshman class, including Brandon Watkins, Devin Williams and Elijah Macon, can be part of a solution.
“We ’ll fit in good,” Adrian said. “We ’re replacing just about everyone that’s graduating and hopefully we will be able to come in and fill in those spots and hopefully do better than they did.”
MHS head coach Tom Yester said he predicts Adrian, who turns 18 next week, could be a “pick-and -pop” player in Huggins’ system, meaning a player who sets screens for the ball-handlers and can roll off those screens and knock down outside shots.
“I think right now there’s a great big question mark over a lot of things,” Yester said.
“Is [Aaric] Murray coming back? Are all the guards coming back? Do they want to run the same offense? Do they want a change?
“If you look at Macon and Williams, they are already big strong kids, and they are all probably at least six months older than Nathan.
“Nathan is only one of that group that looks like a pick-and-pop [forward] to me, and that should be to his advantage, but Huggs will have to figure it all out. He’s done this before.”
Yester, who is eager to coach Adrian two more times – in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference all-star game and the North-South all-star game – said one thing was certain about his star’s collegiate future.
“For Nathan, he needs to get more physical,” Yester said. “The biggest change for him will be going up against taller, stronger guys.
“He’s a bright kid and he understands and if he really dedicates himself to the weight room this summer, that will be the deciding factor whether he has an opportunity to play early or whether he red-shirts.”

Bob Gay/The Dominion Post file photo
Morgantown High’s Nathan Adrian drives to the basket in a game against Brooke at the MHS gymnasium this season.