Schwab: Full circle career for St. Francis' Hart
Adam Hart is ready to finish what he started, where he started.
Hart, a basketball and football athlete from St. Charles, is preparing for his senior year at St. Francis, the school where he started his high school career before taking a detour as a sophomore, when he transferred to St. Charles North.
It didn't take long for Hart to second-guess that decision, and he transferred back to St. Francis as a junior but had to sit out his sports seasons because of IHSA transfer policy. The 6-foot-8, 200 pound Hart is working through any lingering rust with a bustling summer slate.
On Monday night in Wheaton, Hart was among numerous area players to take part in a skills showcase for college basketball coaches organized by his AAU program, Mercury Elite. Hart, though, is also considering pursuing football in college; he projects as a jumbo-sized tight end or receiver target for the Spartans this fall.
From a basketball standpoint, Hart missed some serious thrills by having to sit out junior year. The Spartans went on a memorable postseason run, and were less than two minutes from advancing to Peoria before Bartonville Limestone surged in the final stages of a 55-50 win over St. Francis in the IHSA Class 3A Northern Illinois University Supersectional.
"It was [OK] throughout the whole season until the end," Hart said. "That's when I really wanted to play and help my team get downstate."
Hart has a nice shooting touch from the perimeter to go with his height. Along with fellow Tri-Cities resident Kilian Brown, a Geneva resident who was a substantial part of St. Francis' postseason run, the Spartans should have one of the top frontcourts in the area next season.
Hart tried to make himself useful in practice last year despite not being eligible to play in games.
"It's hard but you help out your team because you're the tallest kid there," Hart said. "You're helping them get past 6-7 kids and teaching the kids that don't know as much."
Hart played on the sophomore squad at North a couple seasons back, and was able to reunite with former North Stars teammates such as Jake Ludwig and Keith Hedges when St. Charles North and St. Francis recently crossed paths during the Geneva Summer League.
Hart was nursing an ankle injury and unable to play when the Spartans faced the North Stars but some of his former North teammates were able to observe him in action in one of the Spartans' other games.
"I played in front of them, and they were harassing me, which was real fun, but it was good seeing them," Hart said.
About midway through his sophomore school year at North, Hart said he decided he would return to St. Francis for social and academic reasons.
His former St. Francis classmates welcomed him back with open arms, he said, but the change of heart made for an unusual and circuitous high school journey.
"The grass isn't always greener on the other side – that's what I've learned most from my high school experience," Hart said. "If it's good where you are, don't move, because it could be worse [somewhere else]."
Barry nabs offer: St. Charles East football senior Brannon Barry fielded his first scholarship offer on Tuesday from Western Illinois.
The 6-foot-4 Barry is a standout receiver/safety for the Saints.
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.