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Dom Adduci is a self-confessed Midwestern boy at heart.
Therefore, he should feel right at home over the next 4 years in Iowa's capitol city of Des Moines.
Earlier this month, the St. Charles East senior basketball standout verbally committed to attend Drake University this fall.
"It is the perfect fit for me," said Adduci, who also received interest from the University of California-Davis. "I felt 100 percent committed after my visit there."
The recruiting process for Adduci began very early during his freshman year at Wheaton Academy.
"I went on a visit to EIU (Eastern Illinois) as a freshman," said Adduci. "I received a lot of letters (from schools) during my sophomore and junior years."
Adduci, who transferred from Wheaton Academy after his inaugural high school campaign, found a home at St. Charles East.
Playing for Saints head coach Patrick Woods the past 3 seasons, Adduci filled out a laundry list of accomplishments, including:
• 3-time Daily Herald Tri-Cities All-Area team member.
• 3-time Academic All-Upstate Eight Conference River Division honoree.
• 2-time All-Upstate Eight Conference River Division player.
• 2-time All-St. Charles East/Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament selection.
• 2012-13 Class 3A/4A All-State Special Mention pick.
• 2013-14 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-State 4th Team choice.
• 1,000-point varsity career scorer.
• Illinois State Scholar.
• National Honor Society member.
"He's a great student and he's a gym rat," said Woods in a complimentary tone. "He never seems to run out of energy."
One thing that may have knocked some starch out of Adduci was the college recruiting process.
"It was fun but it also was a stressful process," said the 6-foot guard. "There were some highs and lows involved with it all. The highs were the campus visits and the opportunity to meet some great coaches. Some of the lows were the long trips and pressures of being torn between schools."
Adduci, who averaged 20-plus points per game this past season for the Saints, missed his entire AAU campaign last summer after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum (shoulder).
Unfortunately, the timing of that injury couldn't have been much worse from a recruiting standpoint.
"It was a frustrating thing," admitted Adduci. "It was probably the worst timing for me."
The injury left him with another important decision.
"Do I have the surgery and miss the AAU season or do I put it off and miss my senior year of basketball?" he asked.
Some of the contacts from coaches fell off after the injury.
"For the most part though, the recruiting process was good," he added. "You can't get mad at a coach who decides not to recruit you. You have to respect the process. I tried to stay positive. I knew that if I went out there and played my best, good things would happen."
Adduci has benefited from an excellent support staff that included Chris Browning and Josh Rader at ProForce Sports Performance Training in Batavia; Dr. Eric Hestrup from Innovative Sports Medicine; and personal trainer Jeff Pagliocca from Evolution Athletics.
He also has received excellent support from his family throughout his high school career.
"My family drives me to become better," said Adduci. "You need to have cheerleaders and I've been fortunate to have family as my cheerleaders. It has helped me so much, win or lose. They've kept me levelheaded. Some people don't have that."
Planning to major in English before pursuing law school (corporate law), Adduci expects to be a point guard at the collegiate level.
"I've already been working on skill-specific things like how to use my body," said Adduci, who will arrive in Des Moines on June 9 for his official starting date.
Adduci will join other Drake recruits, including St. Viator shooting guard Ore Arogundade, Cahokia point guard C.J. Rivers, and power forwards Kory Kuenstling and Casey Schlatter.
"Ore and I have trained together for a number of years," said Adduci. "He's a great player."
After a 10-3 start, Drake finished 15-16 overall (6-12 in Missouri Valley Conference play) this past season during head coach Ray Giacoletti's first season at the helm.
Giacoletti spent 6 seasons (2007-13) as an assistant coach on Mark Few's staff at Gonzaga University, where he helped lead the perennial basketball powerhouse to 6 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, 5 West Coast Conference titles, and a 163-41 record (.799 winning percentage) in Spokane, Wash.
"I talked at length with Coach Giacoletti as well as with all of the coaches on his coaching staff," said Adduci. "I'm thrilled to be a part of his first recruiting class and I'm excited for my future as a Bulldog."
You can reach Craig Brueske at firstname.lastname@example.org