Davante Adams grew up like many other kids – going to school, playing with friends, and attending the Boys and Girls Club. In his free time, Adams’ parents encouraged him to pick up sports in order to keep busy and stay out of trouble. So, Adams dedicated himself to improving his athletic skills, and his hard work began to pay off. During his senior year of high school, Adams helped lead his team to the CIF National Championship, but fame was never his end goal. Adams’ motivation for success was more selfless: he simply wanted to give back.
“I didn’t want to be famous. I wanted to be successful,” Adams said. “I wanted to do everything I could to help my family out and give mom and dad everything they gave to me.”
Now, going into his sixth season as wide receiver for Green Bay, Adams realizes that his potential to give back reaches further than just his family. Through his words and actions, he can impact the next generation of athletes.
“The kids running around the Boys and Girls Club are me,” Adams said. “It’s important to invest in kids because setting a good example for them will shape the future and put us all in good hands.”
Regardless of what grade you’re in or what sport you play, Davante Adams believes you hold the power to create a bright future, so here’s five pieces of advice he has for you:
1. Have fun playing sports but be safe.
“I play football because I love the sport and have fun playing it,” Adams said.
It’s no surprise that Adams is an advocate for youth sports because of the effect they had on his own life. Adams believes that not only do they provide a method of keeping kids active and healthy, but he says it can also benefit kids socially.
“Getting involved in sports gives kids something to do, and it helps out with relationships as they make friends,” Adams said.
Although competition is fun, Adams points out that there’s an element that needs to be taken seriously.
“The number one thing is to always be safe,” he said. “They have different levels – flag football if you don’t want to worry about being tackled, or if you want to play tackle football, that could be fun too. Either way, wearing a mouthpiece is big. People think it’s so your teeth don’t crack, but it also helps prevents concussions if you get hit.”
2. Your passions may change, and that’s okay.
One thing that makes Adams a unique football player is that he didn’t start playing football until 11th grade. His first love was basketball. He began dribbling at the age of five and kept playing through high school, lettering all four years.
“Growing up, some of my biggest influences were AI and Deron Williams. I watched how they moved on the court, and I’d try to mimic that,” Adams said. “I always had a mean crossover; I just had to figure out how to incorporate it into my releases and route running.”
No matter how much you plan, you don’t know what the future holds. Adams didn’t know that learning basketball skills as a young kid would help him become a great football player; he just followed his passions and dedicated himself to the sport. So whether you see the big picture or not, give 100%, always.
3. Listen to your parents and take school seriously.
It’s a cliché saying, but it bares truth: hindsight is 20/20. Now that he’s an adult (and a soon-to-be parent himself), Adams realizes the importance of listening and heeding the advice that his parents gave him.
“Listen to your parents when they tell you to stay in school and take your schooling seriously. That’s the biggest thing,” Adams said. “I didn’t do that well when I started high school, and by the end, I had to catch up in order to graduate and become eligible for D1. The hardest thing in life is having to work backward. So listen to your parents, they know what they’re talking about.”
4. Dream big and work hard.
“Growing up, football was an outlet for guys to get away and set us up for life,” Adams said.
He knew that if he worked hard to dominate the sport, he could earn a free ride to college, so that’s what he set out to do. After two years playing in high school, Adams left for Fresno State on a football scholarship, and two years after that, he was drafted by Green Bay.
You always want to set your sights on the biggest dreams possible.-Davante Adams
Although Adams admits that returning to NorCal as a local legend was once a dream of his, he’s still adjusting to the reality.
“Yes, I dreamed it would get to this point, but it was just a dream to begin with and now being in this position – coming back to the Boys and Girls Club, like the type I grew up going to – there are kids looking at me like the figures I looked up to when I was young. It’s surreal.”
5. Leave your own legacy.
Adams says he’s been inspired by LeBron James and the impact he has both on and off the court, and Adams hopes to inspire people in similar ways.
“I want to leave a legacy of greatness whether that’s in my community or the sport I play,” Adams said. “Being able to give back to my community sheds light on my character and lets kids know how important it is for them to do the same.”
It’s important for people to know how much something means to you, so I want them to know that I put everything into the game — blood, sweat and tears.-Davante Adams
Adams’ legacy only reaches so far, but his impact on the next generation can start a chain reaction for a positive future because everybody has the potential to impact others with what they leave behind.