BRIGHT FUTURES — Adam Scherbakov leaves home country to follow basketball dreams in Port Arthur

Published 12:24 am Tuesday, March 14, 2023

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Adam Scherbakov was forced to make life-changing decisions in order to follow his dream of playing professional basketball.

That meant leaving his family and home in Israel and never returning. In Israel, he said, it is mandatory for 18-year-olds to enter the military.

Scherbakov did not want to serve in the military, he wanted to play basketball so he moved to the United States and enrolled in college. He cannot return to Israel. If he does he would have to either serve in the military or go to jail, he said.

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“So I left my family to play basketball,” Scherbakov said.

Scherbakov is now a sophomore at Lamar State College Port Arthur and a member of the Seahawks basketball team.

Adam Scherbakov just completed the basketball season for Lamar State College Port Arthur and is scheduled to graduate in May. (Courtesy photo)

Journey to America

Scherbakov attended Wizo Nahalal School in northern Israel and was part of the National Junior College Association’s national championship Northwest Florida State College team before moving to LSCPA.

His decision to follow his dreams was a difficult but obvious one.

His parents are from Ukraine, and he was born in Israel. He speaks three languages: Hebrew, Russian and English with plans to learn Spanish.

“I thought a lot about it. I just knew basketball,” he said. “I have to make it because if not, I’m going to ask myself ‘what if’ my whole life.”

His father is his mentor.

“He pushed me to work out every day, twice or three times a day,” he said. “My grandma, grandpa and my sisters and my mom were driving me everywhere to practice.”

The youngest of the bunch, Scherbakov has two older sisters. His middle sister got married a few days ago.

“I watched it from the phone. This is one of my, like, not regrets but something I feel really sad about that, that I can’t be there in my sister’s wedding,” he said.

Adam Scherbakov gets off a jump shot for the Lamar State College Port Arthur Seahawks. (Courtesy photo)

Growing up basketball

While growing up, Scherbakov remembers how everyone helped push him toward his dreams.

“They’re a bog part of why I’m here. That gave me all the support I need,” Scherbakov said.

His basketball skills speak for themselves. This year he twice tied the school record for 3-pointers made in a game and is ranked among the best 3-point shooters in the nation.

Academically he is doing great — Scherbakov is on the dean’s list and expected to graduate in May. He is majoring in phycology, a change from his first major, kinesiology.

His dream is to be in the NBA, so now he is looking for another college to attend.

He said he is already sacrificing to get to his dream so why let grades get in the way and keep him away from his dream.

Head coach Lance Madison said the school is fortunate to have Scherbakov as part of the Seahawks family.

“Adam is accomplished on the basketball court and in the classroom. He’s extremely smart, and that translated into his making smart decisions during games,” Madison said. “A big part of his success as a 3-point shooter is his ability to make the smart choice in the heat of battle. He was a real asset this season.”

Scherbakov finished No. 11 in the country in 3-point shooting percentage, hitting 47 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, Madison said.

“He led NJCAA Region 14 in 3-point shooting percentage,” Madison said. “He entered the Seahawks’ record book with 8 3-pointers in a game twice, good enough for second place all-time.”