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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Former Globetrotter brings positive message to area schools

  • Melvin Adams was in Devils Lake for less than three days. During his time in the area, however, he made people take notice that he was here. With an infectious smile on his face and a joke for every occasion, the Texas man hoped to leave a lasting impact on every city he visits.
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  • Melvin Adams was in Devils Lake for less than three days. During his time in the area, however, he made people take notice that he was here. With an infectious smile on his face and a joke for every occasion, the Texas man hoped to leave a lasting impact on every city he visits.
    "I live my life at 100 percent, 100 percent of the time," he told the Journal in an interview Thursday. "By being crazy and energetic, my hope is that people take a second to look at the positive side of life."
    That's not say, that there haven't been roadblocks in his life and that is ultimately the reason Adams found himself in Devils Lake Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Growing up in an abusive home, he used a love of basketball to find the positives in life.
    The 5-foot-8 man became a high school and college basketball star before going on to play professionally overseas for several years. Adams then become known nation-wide as a member of the historic Harlem Globetrotters. Performing crazy tricks on a nightly basis, he felt on top of the world.
    "It was awesome," Adams said. "But I felt like I had an opportunity to reach kids in a different and positive way."
    That's when the man became an inspirational speaker. While traveling to speak at schools, churches and community groups throughout the nation, he mixes his natural talent as a former Harlem Globetrotter with his ability to engage with audience members.
    Last week, he traveled to Devils Lake and gave presentations to students and instructors at Sweetwater Elementary, Minnie H Elementary, Central Middle School and Lake Region State College. Much of his talks centered around the importance of positive thinking. He credited a teacher and counselor when he was in school for helping build a promising path with their words.
    "There was a lady at my school who told me everyday that I was awesome," he stated. "After a while, I started to believe it and that's how I have continued to live my life. Everyone has awesomeness in themselves."
    Another bright spot during Adam's childhood was his love of basketball. A difficult family life led the young boy to work even harder on the game he loved.
    "I thought if I could score  more and more points, my mom would love me more," he said. "While I realized that the game couldn't change that, the sport of basketball has been a huge part of getting me to where I am today and I am entirely grateful for that."
    His goal while in Devils Lake was for students to see the potential in themselves.
    "We all are special and we all have value," Adams said. "A lot of times kids just need someone else to help bring out their true potential."
    Page 2 of 2 - Having the opportunity to meet individuals from Devils Lake was a tremendously positive experience, he noted.
    "It was an honor to come have some fun in Devils Lake. The students, the teachers and the administrators here are awesome," Adams pointed out. "I want them to remember that."

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