The highest profile addition for Rutgers women’s basketball this offseason was North Carolina transfer Destiny Adams. The former McDonald’s All-American and high 4-star recruit from Manchester, New Jersey played two seasons for the Tar Heels. Her decision to return home and play for Rutgers was a major recruiting win for head coach Coquese Washington.
“It means a lot,” Adams said in recent feature by the program. “Playing for New Jersey when you grew up here, it’s something that many people can’t really do. I’m blessed to be one that can come here.”
Adams was a key player off the bench last season for UNC. The Tar Heels went 22-11 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. She averaged 4.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks per contest in 17.2 minutes over 33 games played. She shot 58.3% from two-point range and was a valuable defensive player. Adams was second on the team in steals and blocks, which she ranked 16th and 23rd respectively in the ACC.
With two seasons of eligibility remaining, Adams has an opportunity to play a major role for Rutgers moving forward.
On her decision to come to Rutgers, Adams said, “I knew I saw the vision that the coaching staff has for this team, and I just wanted to be a part of it.”
Her experience so far after arriving in June has been positive so far.
“The team is made up of all great ladies in general, and we all have the same vision,” Adams said. “We are all working to be a better all-around team. This group’s dedication and hard work is really enjoyable to be around.”
Adam’s development will be key for Rutgers to take a major step forward next season. Washington and the staff surely believe they can help the talented player reach her full potential at the collegiate level after a standout scholastic career.
The 6’3” guard was ranked 20th in the ESPNW Class of 2021 rankings and was the 2020-21 Gatorade New Jersey Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Adams averaged 30.1 points, 18.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 blocks as a senior at Manchester. She finished her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Coming back to New Jersey brings Adams closer to her family. Her father was coached her most of her life and was her principal at Manchester high school. He also starred there, scoring 1,466 career points. Destiny passed him by finishing with 2.010 points in her own career there.
“I would be nowhere without my dad,” Adams said. “I’d really have to give him credit for everything. She continued, “I admire him so much in the game of basketball. I think that without him, I wouldn’t be half as good as I actually am.”
On why that was the case, Adams explained, “I think that he knew how to coach me in the right way. He understood how I needed to be coached. He pushed me as much as he pushed everybody else and didn’t treat me any differently.”
As for the experience in attending the school he was principal at, Adams explained the benefits.
“It actually was really special, having him as my principal the whole time I was in high school,” said Adams. “He would come to practices and watch. It was kind of like he was still coaching me maybe a little bit from the sidelines, but not. I compare every coach that I’ve ever had to him. That’s how much I really enjoyed playing for him. It was hard for me to stop playing for him and switch to the EYBL circuit. I didn’t really want to let go of him coaching me.”
One notable family connection is that her brother Darius Adams is a 5-star prospect and a priority recruit for Rutgers men’s basketball. The top recruit in New Jersey in the 2025 class is very close to his sister and even indicated on social media previously he could go to the same school she chose to transfer to.
“He’s my best friend,” said Adams. “I’m really at a loss for words with what he’s doing. I’m so proud of him. I think that he’s really grown so much and I’m happy that he’s finally getting the recognition that he deserves. He’s put in so much work since we were young and now it’s just crazy to see him grow up and like grow into this this big thing.”
Adams credits her parents, Dennis and Lisa, for making their kids close. She also has a sister Dakota who played at Rowan.
“When we were younger, they used to make us go to each other’s games no matter what, which I really admire my parents for,” Adams added. “If my sister had a basketball game, we would all have to go. My brother had one we would all have to go. So, my first two years of college, everybody still watched. My brother would watch whether it was on his phone or, if he was home, he would watch it on TV. My sisters would all watch and after the game we would all text in the group chat. That was the support system I needed being so far from home and it was really nice to know that even though I was gone, they were still watching.”
Now her family can watch in person. Rutgers hopes bringing Adams back to her home state will help her take her game to the next level.
Head coach Coquese Washington has developed a strong culture in the program in just over a year. The team exceeded expectations in year one with just eight scholarship players. RU has strong returning core that’s includes star Kaylene Smikle and Chyna Cornwell. They added another high profile transfer in Texas A&M transfer point guard Mya Petticord.
“This is a program that is going to grow and shock a lot of people, Adams said. “To be able to help bring everybody back and help put Rutgers back to where it was before, that really means a lot to me. That’s something that I really wanted to be a part of.”
With Adams in the fold and back home, hopefully she will help strengthen the family atmosphere that Washington has created within the program. And that can only help her and her teammates take another step forward on the court next season.
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