PREPS: GSN Looks at Rising Star Jay Thames

"I've never played on a team that had more than two losses. We didn't lose at all last year when I was at DeMatha." -- Port Huron forward Jay Thames on his experience moving from Washington DC's legendary Dematha High to Port Huron.

PORT HURON, MI - Revisiting last fall, a 16 year-old returned to his home town of Port Huron, MI. after spending his first two years of high school at legendary DeMatha (MY.) winning championships. One of those championships was the mythical 2006 National Title as they finished #1 in the USA Today's season ending poll.

The new name on Port Huron Northern's roster this past season was 6-foot-9 junior forward, Jay Thames. Playing for the Huskies this past season was a humbling experience for the versatile forward as the team struggled to a record of 8-13. Despite his team's lack of success, he still managed 21 points per game average and double digit rebounds.

Thames told me after their second loss, "I've never played on a team that had more than two losses. We didn't lose at all last year when I was at DeMatha."

He knew then and even before the season started that Northern was as far away from DeMatha in basketball talent as the two are in distance. But, he accepted his decision to return home and go to the same school as his younger sister, Natasha (a skilled player in her own right).

The other day, I caught up with Thames to see how things were going in the short break between the high school season and the AAU season. He told me, "I've been working on my game and am ready for the AAU season."

Teams across Michigan have been after his services for this spring and summer since his return last year. One thing the AAU season offers for the junior forward is an opportunity to start a new season and the opportunity to win.

He should get both as it looks like he's selected a pretty talented team in the Michigan Select 17u. Surprising to many is that this team is an independent squad with many future scholarship players, such as Thames, 6-foot-4 wing Blake Cushingberry, 5-foot-11 point guard Josh Collins, 6-foot-4 Josh Eichelberger, and 6-foot-6 forward Nick Carreri to round out the starting five.

Thames will play the three front court positions as he did when he was at DeMatha. His court awareness, fundamentals, and inside and outside scoring abilities are what keep many high-major schools such as Michigan State, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Clemson, West Virginia, and numerous MAC teams interested in his progress. Central Michigan has offered the rising senior.

Thames spring schedule look like this starting off with Charlie Webber's Easter Hoopfest, the Michigan Mustangs Motown Showdown, the DC Spring Fling, King James Shooting Stars, Spiece, the Michigan Classic, and Bob Gibbons.

Although the Michigan High School season is over, TJ Kelley never stops working to discover new high school talent. Stay with GSN as TJ tackles the AAU and the summer basketball circuit

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