Former Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School basketball standout Halee Adams feels that there's no place like home.
That's one of the reasons why Adams - who was named the Altoona Mirror Girls Basketball Player of the Year for the 2010-11 season - decided to leave Siena University in upstate New York after just one semester and transfer to St. Francis University.
"It was just too far away from home, and I wanted to be closer to my family,'' Adams said of her brief time at Siena, which is located in the Albany suburb of Loudenville, N.Y., a six-hour drive from Altoona.
Adams had also undergone another surgery on her left knee this past fall. An injury to that same knee caused her to miss a good portion of her junior season at Bishop Guilfoyle.
Adams had torn the anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and meniscus in her left knee as a high school junior.
The surgery this past fall corrected cartilage problems in the knee.
"I tore cartilage last year during one of my games as a [high school] senior,'' the 5-foot-8 Adams said. "I had knee surgery this past October, and they actually shaved out my meniscus, and drilled holes in my femur to help the cartilage grow back as much as it could.''
Adams said that her knee feels fine now, and she expects to make a full recovery. An elementary education major, she will start second-semester classes at St. Francis next week and will be eligible to compete for the Lady Red Flash women's basketball team next January.
Adams, a two-time Class A first- team all-state selection and third-team selection as a freshman during her high school career, is looking forward to playing before her hometown fans at St. Francis, which is coached by Joe Haigh.
"I feel really good about it,'' she said. "I'm really excited about it. They have a very good team, and Coach Haigh is a really good coach. I'm excited to be playing at a school where my family and the people who watched me play in high school can see me play again.''
Haigh, St. Francis' second-year women's basketball coach, is happy to have Adams in the program.
"She's a great kid from a great family, and we always want the best local kids to stay here and to want to play at St. Francis and win championships here,'' Haigh said. "She's not only a good player, but Mark Moschella [BG's long-time girls basketball coach] also believes that she's one of the hardest-working players that he's ever coached.
"We have the culture here of being a championship program, and to continue to do that, you need to have players who are hard workers and good people,'' he said.