He is perhaps the most hotly-discussed athlete at UCI.
Ever since his arrival on campus, senior Adam Parada has been the object of onlookers who gawk and gasp at the sight of the towering seven-foot Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native.
But for the last two years of his basketball career, he has been the subject, or shall I say, target, of some of the most malicious, vulgar, mean-spirited attacks from fans, critics and dare I say it, even those who claim to be a friend.
It seems misfortune has streamlined Parada’s journey going as far back as his high school days. In a span between his sophomore and senior year, Parada grew from 6’4′ to 7’0′. Because of his relatively inexperienced basketball background, Parada slipped under the radar screen during the recruiting scene.
‘I started playing basketball when I was 15 and didn’t really get the grasp of the game until my senior year,’ Parada said. ‘I was just starting to grow into my body and I was a little uncoordinated for a while.’
Yet, he received several offers from division one schools his senior year before deciding on UCI.
He was red-shirted his freshman year and was actually willing to sit and learn the college basketball game.
‘My first year, it was probably one of my favorite years here because I could go to practice, lift weights, eat and enjoy the whole college experience without the pressures of games,’ Parada said. ‘It was getting away from home and the old by starting a new life.’
His new life started off well during the next year