It took a little time to get settled in for his junior season, but after a bit of moving around, Shaquille Thomas has found a home. A native of New Jersey, the 6-foot-6 wing has found his way to the Mountain State Academy in Beckley, West Virginia.
After playing his sophomore season at Paterson Catholic, Thomas attempted to transfer to Montclair where it was ruled he would have to miss his entire junior season. Rather than sit out, Thomas packed his bags and is now adjusting to a much different pace of life.
"It was pretty tough at first because there's not a bunch to do out here," said Thomas of his new surroundings. "It helps your game and your academics because you can focus on your work."
A long and lean athlete who run the floor well and finishes in transition, Thomas has a surplus of physical gifts. He's quick off his feet, moves well laterally and has excellent body control in the air. He understands that he's got to continue to work on his ball handling and jump shooting.
Thomas also admits that it had been tough to focus on his game until recently because of the school transfers.
"I'm at Paterson then I was at Montclair for about a month or two months," said Thomas. "It's tough to go to three different schools in a year. That's a lot of change but I'm kind of adjusted now as we speak. Now I can get to work."
As far as interest from college programs goes, Thomas has plenty of it. Among his long list of schools is Syracuse, West Virginia, Florida, Kansas, Indiana, Rutgers, St. John's and many more. Also on that list is Travis Ford's Oklahoma State program.
Thomas says that the Cowboys use the same pitch as just about everybody else.
"College coaches say I could be a dominant wing," said Thomas. "If I keep on playing and working on some of my skills then I think that I could get there."
Rumored to be a Syracuse lean for some time, Thomas says that he had leaned their way at one time. However, he's decided to open things back up a bit and insists that he's just going to play, see who else gets involved and go from there.
"I'm still open, really," said Thomas. "I want to keep playing this year to see if I can get more schools on me."