Maybe the premier backcourt player in the 2013 class is Chris Thomas. The Denver native plays his high school ball at Princeton Day Academy in Maryland, and recently made a trio of unofficial visits that he came away impressed with.
According to Thomas' grandmother Latonia Smith, she saw the drive in her grandson had to be a great basketball player from the very beginning.
"Chris has always been a lover of basketball," said Smith. "He absolutely loves it. I have never seen a kid from the time he gets up in the morning to the time he goes to bed love basketball like him."
That love and drive led her to send Thomas to Princeton Day Academy in Bowie, Maryland. Though it was over 2,000 miles from their home in Denver, she knew it would be the right place for him.
"Him being at Princeton Day wasn't by choice," Smith explained. "It was something that we felt as a family that he needed to do so he could focus on getting his game together. Once we made that decision he was upset for about a month or two, but after that he began to buy in. He began playing against the best players on the East Coast, and he was getting the competition that he needed."
Since arriving at Princeton Day, Thomas' game has taken off and now he is one of the most highly recruited players in the 2013 class.
She continued, "He is really getting a lot of attention. Right now he isn't really concerned about it. We have seen three universities, but he is far away from making a decision. Right now he just really enjoys the recruiting process and getting to know the coaches."
Recently Thomas made a visit to the University of Arizona. His family has ties to Tucson, and is familiar with the area. According to Smith, Thomas liked what he saw while in Arizona.
"We went out to Arizona about a month ago," said Smith. "Originally we were supposed to go to a tournament in Las Vegas, but it got cancelled. Since we had the time off of work we went to see the University of Arizona."
She went on about the visit, "Chris was thrilled with what he saw. They treated us well, spoke to us about his game, told us how they could help him excel in academics, and that was amazing to him. We also had a chance to watch a game and that was amazing. He saw the team play and he was thrilled. I am sure he wanted to get out there and play himself."
After making the visit to Arizona, Smith's high school team played in a tournament where they had to travel to Memphis. On that trip Thomas made a pair of unofficial visits.
"He went to Louisville with his high school team," Smith explained. "They had a tournament in Memphis so they stopped by the University of Louisville and he got to meet the team and have a one-on-one with Rick Pitino."
"I guess they have an amazing facility and he was really excited about that," she continued about the visit. "He also said meeting Rick Pitino was cool so he liked that trip."
Following the trip to Louisville was one to Memphis, "When he played in Memphis he toured the university and he liked the campus. He liked what he saw in Memphis. Chris really thrives when a lot of people are watching, and at that tournament a lot of people were there, and the coaches told him it would be like that for their games."
Figuring out other visits hasn't been easy, but Smith says that the family hopes to visit several more schools before too long.
"We are trying to work out something so that we can make it to Xavier soon," said Smith. "We are also going to try to visit Tennessee and the other schools that have offered him scholarships. We want him to know as much as he can."
For now Thomas is in no hurry to make any kind of decision, but when he does academics are going to be his main concern.