tampabay.com

Chamberlain sophomore with nerves of steel

By SCOTT PURKS
Published March 3, 2006


Sophomore Dantavis Adkins is the youngest member on Chamberlain's 28-3 state finalist team, and though he is 5 feet 10 and averages just 4.4 points and 2.8 assists a game, Adkins plays almost every minute and is the floor leader. Tonight he leads the Chiefs into the state final against Gainesville Eastside and, he says, "I'm not nervous at all."

You're a sophomore point guard, the quarterback essentially, on a team heavy with seniors, and yet you seem completely confident. Have you always been comfortable being a young leader? And how did you gain such confidence?

I don't know why but I've never really gotten nervous about things. I know that this summer I did gain a lot of confidence playing AAU ball. Doing that showed me that I can play against some pretty good players.

What do you do before a game? Do you have any rituals?

I put on the iPod and listen to R&B. R&B soothes me. I like to be calm before a game.

Calm? You look like you're about as intense as it comes when a game is going on.

When the game starts it's time to turn it up. When it's game time I really don't think about anything except doing my job, executing. I just try to play as hard as I can.

Now that your team has won the semifinal (56-43 over Port St. Lucie), do you think you guys might be even more focused? As in, "Hey, now we've played in front of the big crowd at the bigger arena (the Lakeland Center) so those nerves are out of the way. And now we can just get after it.'

I think this team doesn't worry about anything but playing hard. I don't think we were really nervous (in Wednesday's game). I know I'm eager to play (tonight). I can't wait.