Similar to the well-known Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras and many more basketball players in our region, Adam Xu was born into a basketball family. Both of his parents played professionally in their hay-days, his father in Hong Kong, and his mother in China.

It’s a blessing for both Adam and his brother Oliver to have such talented basketball genes flowing in their blood which the two have maximized since an early age. With heavy influence from their parents, both Adam and Oliver are now pursuing their basketball dream on separate pathways, hoping to one day exceed what their parents were able to accomplish.

PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Word is now out that Adam is a tremendous fan of the Black Mamba, Mr. Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant. As a matter of fact, Xu is not only a fan of the future NBA Hall of Famer’s arsenal of multiple scoring moves, but he also mentions the Laker-great’s work ethic and preparation routines undoubtedly set him apart as one of the greatest of all time.

Mamba mentality.

As cliché as it already is, dreams do come true with hard work and self-belief. In Xu’s case, that dream came to fruition when he was just 16 years old.

During one of Kobe’s annual Asia Tours, Xu was finally able to talk and train face-to-face with the Mamba after an exhibition game on his stop in Hong Kong. It was in that very special moment that has had a profound impact on Xu’s basketball career as of late. It’s a testament to the 24-year old’s incredible work ethic on Eastern.

As one of the new additions to the defending champions, head coach Edu Torres assigned Xu to be a backup point guard for reigning world import MVP Marcus Elliot when the American needs time to catch his breath during games.

Though Xu was used to being a flashy guard that is capable of getting his on the offensive end, the new role required him to be more of a composed floor general, conducting the tempo while setting up plays for his teammates. The task may be a daunting and difficult challenge for many players, but Xu embraces it, finding joy in the transition as an opportunity to learn and step outside his comfort zone.

Other than teammate Marcus Elliot, there are plenty of talented point guards, and even point-forwards in the league. To better prepare himself in matching up against these players, Xu made it a point to focus on building up more muscle and mass during the offseason.

PHOTO CREDIT: HONG KONG EASTERN / FACEBOOK

He vowed to make himself stronger, tougher and more athletic than ever before. It would be just another step in becoming a better player when couped together with his already strenuous routines of skill development that the guard regularly goes through before he even transferred to Hong Kong Eastern.

For fans who have followed the team for a while now, it’s pretty apparent that the team displays a knack for chemistry and cohesion on the court, playing team basketball which enables every player to contribute in their own ways. This sort of bond stems from beyond the basketball court.

During his interview, Xu shared that players treat one another like family members, painting the town together in search of just the right meal to have after practice sessions. With such outings, the sense of unity is further established which is reflected during game time and their standing in the league.

Unlike some teammates, Xu is used to playing in front of hostile crowds during away games from his time as a student-athlete at New York University in the United States.

PHOTO CREDIT: ADAM XU / FACEBOOK

He recalls those memories and appreciates the similar opportunities presented by the ABL, in which the 6’5” Xu gets to experience different basketball cultures throughout Southeast Asia. A relatively new region for him.

Additionally, he is excited to travel to and experience the passion for basketball shared within the region, believing the season to be interesting and fruitful.

After two road games in the Philippines and Indonesia, Xu acknowledges that there are no weak teams in the league, so being on the defending champions requires taking every game one-step at a time, with no complacency whatsoever. However, he is also assertive that so long as Hong Kong Eastern plays their brand of basketball, with consistent ball movement and finding the open man, the team will be tough to beat in the league.

PHOTO CREDIT: HONG KONG EASTERN / FACEBOOK

On a more personal level, Adam Xu is most excited to play against the Chong Son Kung Fu, especially after their preseason games where there weren’t any stakes. He hopes the games can be electrifying and memorable for all fans. Furthermore, Xu is looking forward to the remainder of the season, taking every given assignment with a focus-ready mentality. Fans can expect him to always bring a high-level of defensive intensity to every game.

A passion he has built up from a young age.

The “Mamba mentality” he learned directly from the man himself.