Myles Thomas finds success at Tuskegee

Published 4:28 pm Friday, February 3, 2017

Myles Thomas had dreamed of this moment his entire life as every kid does growing up playing basketball. The clock running down, the game on the line and the ball in his hands. The countless shots in the gym preparing for this moment came to fruition for Thomas during Tuskegee University’s game against Central State in January.

The Golden Tigers trailed by three when the ball found its ways into the freshman Thomas’ hands. He found space with two defenders in the area and drained the game tying 3-pointer with eight seconds left to send the game into overtime.

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Thomas finished the game with 16 points as his team pulled out the victory.

A 6-foot, 7-inch freshman forward from Bainbridge, Thomas has had to step into a starting role for the Golden Tigers this season after an injury to a teammate.

“When I came here I didn’t think I was going to start, bit I thought I would be a sixth man,” Thomas said. “When the player that was in front of me got injured and there were no other players at that position than me, I just had to step up and I was glad that I had that chance to start like that.”

The adjustment to the more physical and quicker college game is ongoing, but Thomas is gaining invaluable experience this season while averaging 7.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in just over 26 minutes a game.

“I think he adapted to it well and took on the challenge head on,” assistant coach LeRell Dock said of Thomas becoming a starter. “He ended up becoming one of the best players for us this year. I think it was a challenge for him to start off with, but he put in the work to become the player we needed him to be.”

Tuskegee is 5-16 on the season, but the year has proven to be a great learning experience for Thomas.

“The season, record-wise, we have been doing kind of bad,” Thomas said. “I am just planning to get better as a player and next year it will be a whole lot better.”

His plan is to continue working on his dribbling and defense while also gaining the strength necessary to compete at the collegiate level. 

“I think right now the physicality of the game,” Dock said of the areas that they are working with Thomas on. “As an incoming freshman, you don’t have the strength training. His strength wasn’t there so we are trying to get him stronger and adapting to the speed of the game.”

With a full season as a starter under his belt and additional work this summer, Thomas is expected to be one of Tuskegee’s best players next season.

“He was lucky enough, that coming into next year he will be a sophomore, but he will be a veteran on the team,” Dock said. “He will know what the conference is like. He will have played against the majority of players in the conference so he will know what he needs to work on over the summer.”

The Golden Rams have five games remaining in the regular season and will return to the court Saturday for a game at Miles.

“Continue to get better and hopefully the next five games that are played, we win them,” Thomas said of his current goals. “Hopefully we get a championship.”

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