In what was potentially her final game in a GW women’s basketball uniform during this Friday’s Atlantic 10 tournament matchup against Rhode Island, center Jessica Adair did what senior team captains are supposed to do in the postseason: She played like it was the last game of her career. Unfortunately for Adair, no one else on her team did.
Adair led the Colonials with 22 points and 11 rebounds, dominating the game underneath the basket, beating an almost constant double team and keeping her team in the game. Her 22 points were just four off of her season high of 26 points and seven off of her career high of 29, but even one of the best games of her career couldn’t stop her season from coming to an end with a 62-58 loss at the hands of Rhode Island.
“She wanted to win,” GW head coach Mike Bozeman said after the game. “I saw her in the hallway when we was leaving and I just apologized to her, apologized that I couldn’t get her any more help. If I could have suited up, I would have . I’m embarrassed for my players’ effort, and I can’t even explain it.”
The loss marked an unceremonious end to what was one of the most successful careers in GW history. Adair led the Colonials for the past two seasons in points per game and was a starter for the Colonials during their back-to-back Sweet 16 runs in 2007 and 2008. She averaged almost 13 points per game in eight NCAA tournament games and was a first-team selection three years in a row.
This past season proved to be a difficult one for Adair, transitioning to a new coach and a new system following longtime GW head coach Joe McKeown’s departure for Northwestern. More than anything, Adair said, losing games that she would have won in previous seasons wore on her.
“I wasn’t used to it,” she said of the struggles her team went through this season. “Basketball is a game of wins and losses and you have to take them how they come.”
While Adair’s career at GW may be over, her playing days may not yet be behind her. During the Colonials’ 66-60 victory against St. Bonaventure, Dan Hughes, head coach and general manager of the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars, sat courtside to scout Adair for the upcoming WNBA draft. Hughes said that although he didn’t expect the GW center to be a first-round pick, he did see her getting drafted.
But the professional ranks seemed the furthest thing from Adair’s mind Friday as she took postgame questions for the last time as a Colonial, her voice noticeably cracking at times as she spoke about the end of her GW career. With tears in her eyes, she described what her lasting memory of her time in Foggy Bottom would be.
“I played hard,” she said, pausing for a second to reflect on her career. “I was just happy to be here. I played hard all four years and I’m sad to see it go, but you know, gotta move on.”