Oklahoma Thunder’s enforcer, Steven Funaki Adams, is best known as one of the strongest big men in the NBA. His lethal combination of skills, dedication, and toughness that is becoming a rarity in the NBA. Since joining the league in 2013, Adams has become a reliable and durable big for the Thunder and a mentor for the team’s young talent.
Most people don’t know that he has a fascinating background despite his impressive net worth. Adams grew up in a large, athletic family, and he used to go by the nickname, Kid Kiwi.
Steven Adams comes from an athletically gifted family
It is rumored that Sid Adams, Steven Adams’ father bore 18 children with five different women. Some sources note six women and 21 children. Steven is the last born in the family and was born when his father was in his sixties.
Other than the impressive number of siblings, the Adams are quite huge. The average male height in the family is 6-feet-9 and 6-feet females. That’s not all. The family also features multiple sports personalities, most of who have been quite successful in their respective disciplines.
Steven’s older brothers played in the NZNBL
Steven would not be the beloved NBA player that he is today were it not for the influence of his older brother Warren. Warren played in the New Zealand National Basketball League in the late ’80s, bagging the Young Player of the Year award two times. Warren later introduced Steven to the game as a form of distraction and to keep him on the straight and narrow.
Ralph Adams also played in the NZNBL, according to Stuff.com. The 6-feet-6 guard was known for his quick feet, explosiveness, silky smooth shot, and utter domination of his opponents. The Adams are still represented in the NZNBL by Sid Jr., who still plays in the league. Also worth noting is that Steven’s equally famous sister started out playing basketball.
Adams’ sister, Valarie, is a badass
The sporting gene in the Adams family doesn’t stop with the males. Valerie Adams, his half-sister, is quite famous and accomplished as well. Valerie started out playing basketball before she switched to shot put. To date, the celebrated shot putter is a 3-time Olympian, has won two Olympic gold and one silver medal, is a 4-time World Athletics Champion, 3-time Common Wealth, and 3-time World Indoor victor.
In total, Valerie has amassed a total of 15 gold medals at all major events and competitions. The Oklahoman reviewed Steven’s life and career. In one section, Steven painted his sister Valerie (Viv) as the enforcer in the family. He noted, “If I’d even tried to get in with a gang, my sister Viv would have yanked me right back out again,” referring to her intimidating persona and frame.
His father influences Steven and his siblings’ work ethic
Although Steven’s dad died when he was just 13 years old, he influenced his work ethic. Sid was a hard worker who believed in putting effort into everything he did. Given the success of his children in sports, it’s safe to say he taught them well.
It’s noted that when Steven started training for basketball with Kenny McFadden at the New Zealand Basketball Academy, he didn’t miss a single training session in 4.5 years. That speaks to his dedication. Today, Steven is a beast on the hardwood, dominating fellow players and taking hard shots without wincing in pain.