Perry's Thornton Has Career Night

Al Thornton, a rookie for the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers scored 33 Wednesday night against Atlanta.

Some time in the future, one may be able to look back on Wednesday night as the evening that Perry's own Al Thornton officially burst on to the NBA scene.

Against his home-state team the Atlanta Hawks, the former Perry High and Florida State University star exploded for 33 points and a critical defensive play that sealed the victory for his Los Angeles Clippers.

Thornton, a rookie and first-round selection by Los Angeles last summer, has quietly seen increasing minutes throughout his first professional season. all while also steadily increasing his presence on the basketball court.

The Clippers saw something in the 6-foot-8 forward that other teams didn't see and perhaps Wednesday night was a first glimpse at exactly the type of player they knew they were getting.

Thornton, whose role was especially important because the Clippers were without two starters against the Hawks, posted a career-high 33 points and proved unstoppable on both ends of the hardwood.

"I just wanted to come out here and play hard, because we've been in a drought," Thornton told reporters. "Two of our main guys, Corey and Kaman, were out. So I tried to step up and provide some scoring."

Thornton is the poster child for the opposition to the "one and done" argument.

While several of the NBA's brightest stars went straight from high school to the pro ranks or completed just one year of college, Thornton entered Florida State as a lanky, talented but very raw athlete from Central Georgia.

And he left as one of the the most heralded Seminole basketball players of all time.

And the NBA should likely watch out.

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