CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) -- Life hasn't always been easy for Culver-Stockton senior guard CJ Adams.
"I hung around the wrong crew and got into some trouble, not with the law but with my mom," Adams said of his childhood.
"I used to get kicked out of school a lot for fighting."
Adams hails from Pontiac, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit and one of the more dangerous cities in the United States.
If not for sports, especially basketball, Adams' life could have gone a different direction.
"I don't even know how to describe it. I don't know what I would do without basketball, there's no other sport that could replace it," Adams explained.
"I tried track and I liked it, I was All-State, but it was not for me. Basketball pretty much made me who I am today."
Culver-Stockton head coach Jack Schrader says Adams would have been successful no matter his interests.
"I'm not so sure basketball saved his life," Schrader noted.
"He would have been good whatever he did, singing in the choir or playing the trombone in a band, but basketball is what he chose. I'm glad he did because it makes me a lot smarter coach when he's out on the court."
On the floor Adams is as valuable as any player on the roster. He leads the team in assists and steals while averaging 10.5 points and five rebounds a game.
"He can do everything," Schrader said.
"He's a good enough shooter and attacks the basket, he's an efficient passer and guards everybody, and gets us a lot of second chance points. Plus, he's just infectious."
Similar to his skills on the court Adams is also an accomplished student. He's made the Dean's list twice in three semesters in Canton as a criminal justice major.
"I always look at it student comes first and athlete comes second," Adams indicated.
"My mom has always been on my case ever since I was a kid about getting good grades and making her proud. That's what I like to do."
And his college coach is just as proud.
"He's a good example," Schrader said.
"It makes it a lot easier for the other guys to follow him because if he does it, they do it too. It makes life a lot easier for me."
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