For the first time in the history of the Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's basketball program, a former Cougar has been given the opportunity to continue his basketball career in the professional ranks.
Adam Stevens, a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, and a 2000 graduate of MVNC, has signed a contract to play with the Coventry Crusaders, a member of England's Elite League. The Crusaders' play a schedule that goes from the end of August until the middle of May.
"I originally did not want to play basketball after college," said Stevens. "I turned down an opportunity with Athletes in Action. However, this possibility in England really grabbed me. I liked the idea of living somewhere new and not traveling a lot. I think that God really opened my eyes to this opportunity for a reason even after I had already closed them. I know that He must have something special planned for my wife, Jackie, and I."
"It is exciting to see one of my players have this kind of opportunity," said MVNC head coach Scott Flemming. "Adam has worked hard to improve his talents, and yet he was not even anticipating or planning to play professionally after college. His versatility as a player certainly makes him attractive - there are not many 6-foot-7 players with his quickness and perimeter skills."
"This is an ideal situation for Adam," Flemming added. "The owner of the team is a Christian man who wants Adam to not only help his team win games but also be involved with the team's ministry called The Crusader Foundation. I believe that God has opened up a unique opportunity for Adam and Jackie."
Stevens established himself as one of the best all-around players in the history of the MVNC basketball program. He was the first player in Cougar history to start every game of his career (133), and he is also the only player in school history to record a triple-double (December 5, 1998, vs. Olivet Nazarene University).
In addition, Stevens, who was an NAIA Division II Third Team All-American in 1997-1998 and an NAIA Division II Second Team All-American in 1999-2000, is the only MVNC player to ever record more than 1,500 points, 750 rebounds, 300 assists, 100 steals, and 100 blocked shots in a career. He is third in career scoring (1,995 points), first in career rebounds (1,112), seventh in career assists (414), eighth in career steals (184), and second in blocked shots (127). He is also the program's career leader in field goals made (788), and ranks seventh in career three-pointers made (226).
During the course of Stevens' four years at MVNC, the Cougars posted four straight 20-win seasons for the first time ever with an overall record of 104-29. MVNC also made three straight trips to the NAIA Division II National Tournament, and the Cougars won the program's only conference regular-season title in 1997-1998.
"I will be playing one game a week, practicing, and doing 20 hours a week of ministry involving basketball camps, clinics, coaching, and promotion of our team and the Gospel," Stevens said. "God has blessed me with a gift (basketball), and He is now giving me opportunities to spread His love through it."
Stevens and his wife will leave for England on August 1.
Adam Stevens' Mount Vernon Nazarene College Career Statistics (1996-2000) YEAR GP GS FG FGA PCT 3FG FGA PCT FT FTA PCT REB RPG AS BS ST PTS PPG ======================================================================================================= 1996-97 32 32 125 263 .475 12 43 .279 27 38 .711 207 6.5 69 18 40 289 9.0 1997-98 34 34 230 499 .461 76 212 .358 80 115 .696 324 9.5 117 47 48 616 18.1 1998-99 33 33 199 401 .496 60 142 .423 34 61 .557 289 8.8 98 31 39 492 14.9 1999-00 34 34 234 499 .469 78 207 .377 52 70 .743 292 8.6 130 31 57 598 17.6 ======================================================================================================= Totals: 133 133 788 1662 .474 226 604 .374 193 284 .680 1112 8.4 414 127 184 1995 15.0