Many young men and women have the dream of playing college basketball. Some achieve that dream, often just after a fantastic senior season. For Midway University’s Adian Tackett, his path was anything but traditional.
Tackett played in middle school but then didn’t play his freshman season at Betsy Layne. He went out for the team his sophomore season and found a spot on the roster but didn’t receive much playing time. Tackett failed to make the team at Betsy Layne his junior year and just decided not to play at Betsy Layne. However, he didn’t stop playing basketball all together just because he wasn’t playing for the high school team.
“I would play down at my friend’s house who lived below me,” said Tackett. “He let me use his hoop and court because I didn’t have one. I would watch YouTube videos and basketball games to discover and work on different moves and shots. Whenever I got the chance, I would play at the YMCA Sportsplex and parks such as Minnie Ball Park in McDowell and Stumbo Park.”
Tackett would then take a year away from school before going to Midway Universiy and trying out for the Eagles’ basketball team. Tackett earned a spot on the squad and was offered $2,000 in scholarship money. He said that he was motivated by honoring the memory of his father.
“My dad always wanted me to play for the University of Kentucky,” had explained. “When he passed in 2017, I always wanted to become the best that I can be to try and make that happen.”
Tackett spent the past year on the team as a redshirt freshman, not yet playing. He says that he needed to make a lot of adjustments at the collegiate level.
“It was a struggle at first because of how fast the style of play was and conditioning before the start of the season was intense,” he said. “All of the other players there were all very competitive but also supportive. Getting used to communicating while on the court was hard for me, especially since I didn’t play many minutes in high school.”
Tackett says that he has used his time at Midway to improve his game.
“I didn’t play but got to be there with the team throughout the season,” he explained. “I got to learn different ways to play within a system and learn different tips and techniques from the coaches and players. I took advantage of the weight room that they had and went everyday to get stronger.”
Tackett said that no matter what his future holds, he’s going to keep playing the game that he loves.
“I play ball every chance that I get, whether with my friends, random people or even myself.”
Tackett has shown that it’s never too late to keep pursuing your dreams. With this type of drive, who knows what his next chapter will hold?
Photo Courtesy of Midway University