When he walks into the gym you do not see Chris Thomas, the high school basketball prodigy from Denver, Colorado, you see a tall kid with a charismatic smile. At home the high school sophomore is well known for his ever present smile and upbeat personality. When the game starts and he steps onto the basketball court, the smile disappears. The personality changes and Chris turns into a very competitive basketball player. A fearless player, whose style of play can playfully be described as ‘deadly as an assassin’ when he is attacking the basketball rim. He causes trouble for a lot of teams.
Chris leads his Princeton Day Academy High School team as well as his Colorado Hawks AAU team by using his amazing court vision. He can swiftly run from one end of the court to the other in what seems like less than two seconds. Chris can shoot from anywhere on the court. He makes the effortless no-look passes to his teammates as often as he slams the rock home, or he can pull up the deadly three point shot from the perimeter. Make no mistake about it, once he is in the paint there is no telling what he will do with the ball. If Chris is really feeling his game, he often puts on quite a show from the moment he steps onto the floor until the game-ending buzzer sounds. His style of play is thrilling and exciting for basketball fans as well as the college coaches. When it comes to basketball, Chris says he is used to hard work “When I step on the court, I want my team to win the game and I want to be the best player on the court on that day”.
Both of the coaches in his young life agree that Chris is a player that always wants to win. When Chris was asked about his relationship with his coaches, he said, “Coach Greg (Colorado Hawks AAU Coach) was the first to see me as a good basketball player. Coach Greg is like a father figure and a good friend to me. He has helped me to believe in myself beyond the basketball court. He has also helped me to believe that I can always help my team to win no matter who I’m playing against. I can talk to him about anything and he is always there for me. He treats me like his son.” Chris states that Coach Van, (Princeton Day Academy Coach) is his mentor and friend. “Coach Van does so much for me and I appreciate and respect him. Coach Van makes me think about the type of person I want to become especially academically. He makes me believe in myself in the classroom and as a person. He is always on me about my homework and talks to me about the choices I make. I really do not know what my life would be like if I had not come to Maryland and met Coach Van.”
When asked, who he wants to be like when he grows up, Chris pauses a moment and then says, “I honestly don’t want to be like anyone but me. I want to make it. I want to be famous and successful in life. I think I’m like the rose trying to grow in the concrete. It’s hard but for the first time in my life, I’m here trying to do the right things.” Not only does he enjoy the highs that his basketball talent gives him, like scoring 45 points in an IS8 game the weekend of October 23rd and 24th, he also has to live through the 40-point losses, like the one to Oak Hill this past weekend. When Chris was asked if he will ever learn to accept losing a game he said with a smile on his handsome face, “I will never learn to accept losing a game so I guess I need to keep working harder.”