On June 25, Alvan Adams – the former Suns center and current Vice President of Facility Management – was in St. Louis with wife and two children to be inducted in the class of 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

He was happy to be surrounded by his family members for the ceremony since he credits them with being the inspiration he needed to pursue academic interests.

“Although this particular award has meant a lot to me, I didn’t do the work for honors like this,” Adams said. “The academic standing I earned while at the University of Oklahoma was about the inclination I had to be curious and to want to learn, which has always been due to the influence my family had over me.”

That process started with his mother, Ilse, an Austrian native who taught the German language at Central Oklahoma University – then called Central State College. She made sure Alvan took academics as seriously as he took basketball.

Alvan proved that her lessons paid off when he was named an Academic All-America twice in three seasons as a Sooner.

Then, with his mother on his mind, he went back to OU in 1997 to earn his degree, which he hadn’t received after leaving school a year early in 1975 to play for the Phoenix Suns.

Like his mother before him, Alvan said that he stressed academics to his children, which is reflected in the accomplishments of his daughter, Emily. She became an Academic All-America honoree three times while playing volleyball at the University of Southern California.

So when he returned home from St. Louis, Alvan said he had found the perfect place for his new hall of fame plaque: Right next to the awards his daughter had won at USC.