August 13, 2013

No doubting Thomas

Kevin McCarthy

The weight isn't there yet -- those last three letters being the key -- but it's easy to imagine Team Superstar and Newark Memorial High 2014 big Matthew Thomas with 30 or so more pounds.

photo of Matthew Thomas

Get the 6-foot-8 frontcourter into a heavy duty collegiate weight training program and watch the scale rise. Weber State, Montana State and Cal State Bakersfield have already jumped in with bids. It's just a matter of time and patience before higher majors from loftier conferences come calling.

Here's Team Superstar Coach LeRohn Dodson evaluating his big: “Matthew is raw offensively but he's athletic, has good hands and runs like a deer. Before he liked basketball, now he loves it.”

What's especially critical to keep in mind is that Thomas will be a young graduate. Dodson again: “He will graduate at 17” so both growing his body and into it will require time.

But what is Thomas wanting at the next level?

“I'm looking for someone like Coach Ashmore (his high school coach) to push me to become the best I can. I want to play with a good group of guys who work hard and win.”

Thomas sees prevention as his best current asset.

“That's my best skill and I want to be the best defender I can. I also try to get my teammates pumped up.”

But he hardly a liability on the boards, having nabbed 13 boards, eight on the offensive end, in Newark's 74-60 victory over Dublin High. That win made the Cougars back-to-back North Coast Section Division II championships. Those triumphs are what Thomas acknowledges as his best moments on the court.

After 23-8, 14-0 and 28-5, 12-0 Mission Valley Athletic League seasons plus that pair of crowns, it's the final go-around for Thomas.

“We want to make it special and be state champions.”

Thomas is strong academically and wants to major in criminal justice at the next level, in order to become a parole officer.

It's hard to imagine any of his wards disobeying what their 6-foot-8 agent is instructing them to do.