Boys Basketball: Thornwood’s Donte Thomas commits to Bradley
By Joe Henricksen For Sun-Times Media September 16, 2013 8:54PM
Donte Thomas, of Thornwood, has made Bradley his college choice. | File photo
Updated: October 18, 2013 6:20AM
When college coaches finally were able to get out and look at prospects last week after the recent dead period, there were 12 schools in the gym the first day checking in on Thornwood’s Donte Thomas.
With interest quickly picking up for the late-blooming Class of 2014 prospect, Bradley was able to secure a commitment from the 6-foot-5 forward. Thomas, who was at Bradley on an official visit over the weekend, committed to coach Geno Ford and the Braves on Sunday morning.
For Thomas, who a year ago wasn’t receiving any college interest, having Bradley be the first on him and staying on him means something.
“The first thing is they were the first ones on me,” Thomas said of what stood out about Bradley. “They really made me a priority and really came at me. I appreciated and respected that. I believe this staff is going to look after me.
“My mom and I were impressed with the academics at Bradley, and I like how they have facilities dedicated to basketball only.”
Thomas, ranked among the top 20 prospects in the state’s Class of 2014 player rankings, felt a connection with both Ford and assistant Ronald Coleman, who initiated contact with Thomas early in the recruiting process.
After a solid junior season in which he averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds per game for coach Paul Slavich at Thornwood, Thomas put together a good spring and summer playing for Illinois Meanstreets on the AAU circuit. Showcasing his versatility as a combo forward, Thomas saw his stock rise throughout the summer months.
The highly athletic Thomas finds different ways to impact games. He’s capable of posting up on the block, rebounding, blocking a shot and getting to the rim in the open court.
“I still have a lot to prove, and I’m going to prove it during my senior year,” Thomas said.