Chippewas Offer Cedar Springs Standout

Austin Thornton is a fast rising star in the state of Michigan's 2007 basketball recruiting class. This week, he received his first scholarship offer from Central Michigan University.

Austin Thornton was playing in an AAU tournament Tuesday in New Jersey with the Michigan Hurricanes when he received a phone call from Cedar Springs (Mich.) High School head coach Andy Secor.

"Coach Secor told me that Central Michigan had just offered me a scholarship," said the 6-foot-6 Thornton. "It's really exciting. I would consider it an honor to play for (head) coach (Jay) Smith at CMU."

Thornton joins his friend and AAU teammate David Fox of Muskegon Heights on CMU's list of offered prospects in the 2007 recruiting class. Fox received an offer from the Chippewas July 1 while on an unofficial visit to campus.

"It would be great to play alongside David in college," Thornton said. "We compliment each other and play well together. David plays great defense and is an unselfish player."

Earlier this summer, Thornton competed in CMU's team camp with his Cedar Springs teammates. Thornton said the Red Hawks played very well, finishing with a 12-3 record and losing to Flint Powers in the semifinals of the team tournament.

One of the team's that Cedar Springs lost to along the way was tourney champion Unionville-Sebewaing Area. The star for USA was senior-to-be point guard Jordan Bitzer, who recently committed to CMU for 2006.

"Jordan Bitzer is a tough player," Thornton said.

Between football and basketball camps, it's been a busy summer for Thornton, but it's beginning to wind down. In the coming weeks he said he plans to compete in the Five Star Basketball Camp in Pittsburgh, Pa., before playing in Las Vegas, Nev., with the Michigan Hurricanes at the Reebok tournament.

Thornton said he has not set a timeline for making a college choice.

"I'm very honored to have an offer from CMU, but I'm going to keep my options open for now," Thornton said.

According to Thornton, his current list of top five schools include Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Stanford along with CMU.

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