Life takes a surprising turn for Clackamas High athlete
Football star finds out he's a pretty good basketball player, too
Adonal Arrington Jr. began his senior year of high school hoping to be a better football player. Now he's heading into spring with thoughts of the NBA.
At 6-11 and 310 pounds, Arrington is a handful for opponents as either an offensive tackle in football or a center in basketball. And he has performed well enough in both sports to earn postseason honors and extra games.
Arrington will play in the Northwest Shootout, an April 5 all-star basketball game pitting Oregon players against Washington players. He also will take part June 28 in the Oregon Bowl, the all-star football game at PGE Park in which Portland area players play a team of downstate players.
'It's been a pretty great year,' says Arrington, who has played only one year of varsity basketball. 'I was just trying to be a better football player at the start of the year, but my senior season has been just great. It's really been fun.'
Arrington helped Clackamas High win the Three Rivers League title in football and basketball. The Cavaliers finished third in the Class 4A state basketball tournament.
Arrington played three years of varsity football, including his sophomore season at Central Catholic.
He was 6-6 as a sophomore, grew 5 inches in the next two years and says he's still growing. His father and grandfather are 6-6 and 6-8, respectively.
Last summer, Arrington committed to losing weight. He went from 375 pounds to 345 by football season. Playing basketball dropped his weight even more.
Arrington, who played summer basketball with the varsity players, averaged 12.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and three assists per game this season. In the state tournament, he averaged 15.5 points and 12 rebounds and was voted to the all-tourney second team. He had 25 points and 19 rebounds in the third-place game against Jesuit.
'His learning curve was incredible,' Clackamas coach Steve Gustovich says. 'At the beginning of the season, he just rebounded, and he had to come out a lot because he couldn't run up the court. But at the end of the season, we could play him every minute unless he had foul trouble.'
Arrington, who played on a recreation-league basketball team two years ago, says his height makes it a natural for him to dream about a career in the NBA, perhaps even playing for the Trail Blazers.
'I think about the NBA, sure,' he says. 'But that's a long ways off. I'm grounded enough to know the first thing I need to do is get a degree, take care of my education.'
Arrington says he will study business in college. He plans to attend Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College and play both football and basketball, unless something better comes along from an NCAA Division I school scouting the Northwest Shootout.
He picked Scottsdale CC because of its track record of sending athletes to NCAA major colleges and its proximity to Arizona State.
'If I could transfer to Arizona State, that would be cool,' Arrington says. 'I'd love to play in the Pac-10.'
Of course, Arizona State, or some other college, might come calling sooner if he fares well in either of the all-star games, especially the shootout, which also will feature Jefferson's Thomas Gardner and Lincoln's Neal Zumwalt.
'If that happens, that would be great,' Arrington says.
'Otherwise, I'll be heading to Scottsdale.'