Dorothy Adomako was 30 seconds into her collegiate career when she made a first impression that would define her role on the Georgetown women’s basketball team.
Playing in front of a home crowd in McDonough Arena in mid-November, the then-freshman guard took the first shot of Georgetown’s 2014-15 season opener against Maryland Eastern Shore. Adomako’s jump shot, her first ever as a Hoya, swished through the net to give Georgetown a 2-0 lead.
Just 15 seconds later, Adomako stole the ball from a UMES player during the Hawks’ first possession of the game. She coupled her defensive effort with an offensive burst as she almost immediately fired her second shot of the game and banked in a jump shot that gave the Hoyas a 4-0 lead.
The Hoyas ultimately won the game 88-75. Adomako finished with 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds; a double-double to start her Georgetown career.
Head Coach Natasha Adair, then in her first year, praised Adomako for her well-rounded and determined performance.
“I think she did a great job of being shot-ready, but I also think she played a complete game. She defended, she rebounded, she took disciplined shots in our offense. She made extra effort plays — going to the offensive glass, diving on loose balls,” Adair said after the game. “I think it was just a great debut for her and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Though the season started with a victory, the joy would be short-lived, as Georgetown finished its season at the bottom of the Big East with a 4-27 overall record and a 2-16 conference record. Amid the Hoyas’ troubles, however, Adomako shined, as her performances throughout her rookie season secured her the 2015 Big East Freshman of the Year honor and a spot on the honorable mention All-Big East team. Adomako led Georgetown with 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Nearly one year after her debut, expectations are higher than ever for the sophomore guard. In October, Adomako was a unanimous pick for the preseason All-Big East team, the only player from Georgetown to earn a preseason distinction.
“She works so hard. She’s always in the gym, always determined, always working on her shot. I just think she deserves it,” senior forward Dominique Vitalis said.
For Adomako, lofty expectations are nothing new. She attended Cosby High School in Midlothian, Va., and played on her high school varsity basketball team for all four years. Adomako led her team in scoring and rebounding every year, earning her the team MVP award for each of her high school seasons.
By her senior season, accolades for Adomako piled up as she led Cosby to an undefeated 26-0 season and averaged 21.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Adomako received the 2013 Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Metro Player of the Year award and was the No. 60 recruit on ESPN’s rankings of the top high school women’s basketball prospects in the Class of 2014.
In the final game of her high school career, the six-foot-one-inch guard led her high school to a 53-46 victory to clinch the school’s first state championship. Adomako accounted for nearly half of her team’s offensive output as she scored a game-high 26 points in addition to her 16 rebounds.
Adomako’s accomplishments throughout her high school career earned her the 2014 Gatorade Virginia Girls Basketball Player of the Year distinction, an award that incorporates both athletics and academics to determine the best basketball player in every state across the country.
“Dorothy Adomako is unstoppable,” Carolyn Clay, head coach of the women’s basketball team at Cosby’s cross-town rival, Manchester High School, said in Gatorade’s press release announcing the award. “It doesn’t matter what defense you throw at her, she makes adjustments to her game very well. She doesn’t seem to get rattled. If her game isn’t on track, she just turns it up a notch.”
Adomako took the next leap in her basketball career when she arrived on the Hilltop in the fall of 2014, following through on a verbal commitment she had made one year prior.
Though Adomako knew that the coach who recruited her to play for Georgetown would not be the same coach she would have as a freshman on the team, she had faith in the athletic program and still regarded playing for the Hoyas as a dream come true.
“What really attracted me to Georgetown was the name. They have a great academic program here, great athletic program, and I just trusted in the [athletic director] that he was going to bring in someone good,” Adomako said. “I always had dreams of playing at Georgetown, so I had to continue to just trust in what God told me to do.”
Though Adomako was unsure of the exact role she would take on at Georgetown during her rookie year, she was prepared to take on as much responsibility on the court as the team required.
“I didn’t know what role I was going to be taking, but every team that I’ve played on, I’ve always had a big role, so I didn’t expect to be not having a big role on the team,” Adomako said. “I always go in with high expectations, so I think that’s what I did.”
With one year under her belt and one set of expectations met, the bar rose once again for the sophomore guard. At the end of Adomako’s freshman season, Adair expressed her desire for Adomako to expand her presence as a vocal leader on the team moving forward.
“I want her to carry over from what she does on the court in the locker room and the day-to-day of what we do as a team and as a program,” Adair said in an interview with The Hoya last April.
On a team with five seniors who have three times as much collegiate experience as Adomako, the sophomore is gradually growing into her new role as one of the leaders on the team.
“Some things are a little bit uncomfortable, but as a sophomore, you hear her in the gym and you hear her in the locker room,” Adair said. “The thing is the consistency of it. As the season is going on, or she has a good game or if she has a bad game, don’t let that deter from being a leader and letting us hear your voice. That’s something I’m really going to push for her, because she’s one of the faces of the program, and I want her to be able to be in the forefront, answer those questions, and just speak on the behalf of the group.”
On the court, Adomako is expanding her offensive arsenal to incorporate more jump shooting, in addition to improving her overall defensive performance.
“She’s expanded her game offensively and, I think, defensively,” senior guard Katie McCormick said. “She’s expanded a little bit more of [her] shot, going out to the three-point line. She’s a little more comfortable with that.”
Adair echoed McCormick’s comments about Adomako’s improvement.
“I think her offensive package has elevated. She is shooting the ball at a very high clip; where she was more of a slasher and driver, now she is shooting the three. Her mid-range is very consistent,” Adair said.
As much as she looks forward to growing into her leadership role and improving specific skills on the court, Adomako has a bigger picture in mind as her second season opener with Georgetown approaches.
“Getting Big East Freshman of the Year was a good accomplishment, but I can’t really look at that, take that to the head. I have bigger goals, like being the Big East Player of the Year and just helping my team win as much as possible,” Adomako said.
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