Thomas Adjusts To Life In West Virginia

Shaquille Thomas was going to be forced to the sidelines if he stayed in New Jersey for his junior year of high school, so the former standout at Paterson Catholic made a move.

A new environment, new school and new team are just a few things that highly regarded wing Shaquille Thomas is adjusting to.

During the fall, the 6-foot-5 Thomas transferred from Paterson Catholic to Montclair, but was denied a waiver by the NJSIAA to play this year. If Thomas had opted to stay at Montclair he would be forced to the sidelines for the entire year.

Sitting out wasn't an option, so Thomas packed his bags and headed south to Mountain State Academy.

"I was going to have to sit out the whole year," Thomas told "I didn't want to sit out this year, it's my most important year."

"It's just a big difference coming to West Virginia and being from New Jersey," he said. "It's a little hard, but I'm adjusting."

What's been the hardest part about leaving New Jersey?

"School and not having my family around," Thomas replied. "It's been pretty tough, but I deal with it. It's not that hard. It's getting easier. My grandmother came up last week."

Regardless of talent, any prospect switching schools mid-season is a tough adjustment, and Thomas said the move is starting to get easier.

"When you go to a new team it's definitely hard to get used to playing with different players and how they play and where on the court you should be," Thomas said. "I'm getting used to everything now though, so it's going good."

"I think I've played pretty well, but I've only played four games with them," he continued. "Coach puts me in the game and I go out there and do what I have to do. I think I've played pretty well through the four games."

To date, Thomas is averaging 10 points per game, and since his arrival to Beckley (W.V.), his recruitment has increased. Already known as a high level guy, Thomas has had a few new schools announce their involvement.

"I got more schools now, than the summer time," Thomas said. "It's picked up. I probably have four or five more schools since the summer."

West Virginia, Syracuse, LaSalle and Fordham have offered him a scholarship. While, Florida, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Rutgers and Virginia Tech have expressed interest.

"I'm still open with my recruitment," he claimed. "I don't really have any favorites. I'm still thinking about it, but I'm still open. I'm probably just going to wait until the summer to make my decision."

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