ST. LOUIS — The list of coaches attending the 2016 Battle For The Arch was an impressive one, including head coaches from Missouri, Illinois, Saint Louis, Creighton, Missouri State and Southern Illinois.
The coaches who stuck around for the championship game of the 17U division, which included Kim Anderson and John Groce, got to see a standout performance from Fred Thatch of the St. Louis Eagles’ 16U squad.
“It’s exciting. It’s always good to see those guys watching,” Thatch told BlackAndGoldIllustrated.com. “I try not to pay too much attention; I try to have fun and play hard.”
Thatch, a 6-foot-3 Class of 2018 combo guard at Sikeston (Mo.) High School, scored a game-high 25 points but despite his best efforts couldn’t lift his team to a win over the St. Louis Eagles’ 17U squad. The older Eagles emerged with an 84-79 win in overtime after Thatch tied the game with a 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation.
Thatch already has offers from Missouri, Tulsa and Saint Louis but could pick up more soon after his impressive weekend. He said he also has interest from Arkansas and Missouri State, two schools who had coaches at the Battle For The Arch.
The most recent offer came from SLU. The Billikens’ new coach, Travis Ford, has a son, Brooks, who is a 6-2 shooting guard on the Eagles’ 16U squad.
“I’ve been talking with Coach Ford a bit because Brooks is on our team,” Thatch said. “He wanted to get me to the campus, come to a couple games when the season comes around. I’m excited to see what’s up, so we can see what a home college looks like so I can stay close to home when I make that decision.”
There’s plenty of time before Thatch will likely make a decision on his college destination. For now he’s focused on working on his game, which includes his guard skills so he can play multiple positions.
“I’m really starting to learn how to play the 1, the 2 and the 3 and I’m really working on it,” Thatch said. “I can always go in there and bang with the bigs, grab a rebound, get an easy layup bucket, get a tip dunk. I’m starting to become more of a leader playing with these guys. We don’t really have a leader. I’m trying to pick it up and be that leader. That’s the main thing, being a better leader.”
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