Adam Morrison Biography
Claim to Fame: NBA player (Charlotte Bobcats and Los Angeles Lakers)
DOB: July 19, 1984
Diabetes Type: 1
Considered by many to be one of the best college players in 2005, Adam Morrison was a finalist for the Naismith College Player of the Year Award and the John R. Wooden Award. He was the winner of the United States Basketball Writers Association’s Oscar Robertson Trophy for outstanding men's college basketball players, as well as the recipient of the 2006 Chevrolet Player of the Year award. As a small forward, Morrison’s agility, speed, slim build, and overall talent continues to make him a desirable and dependable player among professional teams in the United States and abroad.
Born in Glendive, Montana, Morrison’s father, John, was a basketball coach at Dawson Community Collage in Glendive at the time of his son’s birth. John had a number of coaching positions throughout the country during the course of his career and, as a result, the family moved often, eventually settling in Spokane, Washington. Both father and son became loyal fans of Spokane’s Gonzaga University men’s basketball team, developing such a close connection with the team that Morrison was offered a position as ball boy.
As he matured and developed into a promising athlete, he kept his connection to Gonzaga by attending basketball camps at the university and working closely with the team’s coaches and trainers to cultivate his skill. However, while attending one of the camps, Morrison’s health began to deteriorate. After losing 30 pounds and suffering from crippling fatigue, he learned he had type 1 diabetes. Only 14 and eager to make a career in basketball, Morrison’s dreams were in danger of being dashed. Determined to continue toward his goal despite his illness, Morrison worked to master his diabetes, keep a positive attitude, and grow from the setback. In a 2006 interview with Diabetes Health, Morrison stated, “I just looked at diabetes as being a part of me, and it didn’t really give me doubt about whether I can accomplish my goals.” Optimistic in regards to career and health, Morrison continued to make strides toward achieving his ultimate ambition.
Morrison went on to attend Mead Senior High School where he quickly became a superstar on the court, breaking a number of school and conference records. His senior year, Morrison’s team made it to the state finals where he scored 37 points while battling a low blood sugar, which put him in danger of having a seizure as a result of hypoglycemia. The team lost but Morrison demonstrated his resolve .
In 2003, achieving one of his earliest goals, Morrison attended Gonzaga University and began playing for the Gonzaga Bulldogs as a freshman. His first year, he scored close to 11 points per game and was named to the West Coast Conference All- Freshman Team. His sophomore year, Morrison was selected for the All-West Coast Conference First Team and Basketball Times All-West Coast Team, and named Associated Press All-American. His junior year was equally successful and garnered the attention of NBA scouts. Instead of staying at Gonzaga for his senior year, Morrison was drafted into the NBA and began his professional career.
In 2006, Morrison was picked third in the NBA Draft by North Carolina’s Charlotte Bobcats and signed a two-year contract with the team. His first year on the team was marked by an outstanding game against the Indiana Pacers, in which he secured a 30-point win. However, toward the end of his first season, Morrison lost his starting spot on the team due to poor accuracy. In 2007, he suffered a leg injury that had him on the bench for his second season with the Bobcats.
In 2009, Morrison was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. With the team, he won the NBA championships two years in a row, though he was upset with the limited amount of time he was offered on the court. As a result of his frustration, he was released before the 2010-2011 season.
In 2011, Morrison left the NBA to pursue an athletic career abroad. He joined Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade team, part of the Adriatic League, and enjoyed the title of being the team’s top scorer and performer until he left in November of 2011 to pursue other offers. As of January 2012, Morrison is associated with the Turkish Basketball League’s Beikta Milangaz.
As a person with type 1 diabetes, Morrison talks about his medical condition and the responsibility that comes with fame. He prides himself on being a role model to children struggling with type 1 diabetes, giving them an image of success, despite having had his share of diabetes difficulties. He stresses that the daily struggles he faces are no different from the concerns of most people with diabetes and that his success is due to strict management of blood sugar levels and diet. In the 2006 interview with Diabetes Health, Morrison stated, “A lot of the stuff that happens to type 1s is preventable. I know it’s tough, but if you stay on top of it, you can live a long and successful life. “He advocates testing blood sugars regularly, stating that he chooses to use the OneTouch Ultra2 meter, and is currently receiving insulin pump therapy to provide him with more flexibility. Morrison serves as an inspiration to people with type 1 diabetes both on and off the court.
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