Cam Thomas is Able to Shoot the Lights Out within the League
He was solely 7 years previous when it hit him; the second he realized that there was extra to it than his head might even wrap round at such a younger age. Cam Thomas had seen sufficient to reach on the conclusion that he had what it took—the expertise, the abilities, the need—even when at 7 years previous his mind wasn’t fairly processing what he had completed in that very same approach. All he knew and noticed, although, was that he wasn’t a median 7-year-old. And that was all he wanted at that age to decide that will find yourself impacting the remainder of his life.
“Once I was about 7, in my first AAU event towards gamers from throughout the nation, [it made] me wish to pursue a profession in basketball. It was a event at Boo Williams [Sportsplex]—I’m from Virginia and again then that was the massive factor, go to Boo Williams and play in tournaments there,” remembers Thomas. “I had 25 factors taking part in up with the 9-year-olds once I was 7. That’s when it actually made me be like, Properly, I would as effectively simply take basketball critical. I had, like, 25 factors at each recreation that weekend.”
Seems his instinct was right. Right now, Thomas enters the 2021 NBA draft as arguably the perfect pure scorer within the class. It’s a title he’s develop into used to holding on each workforce he’s ever been on since that tourney at age 7. When the 6-Four guard transferred to prep powerhouse Oak Hill Academy for his junior 12 months, that workforce already had three top-ranked senior recruits in Cole Anthony, Kofi Cockburn and Christian Brown. But, by the top of the season, it was Thomas who had risen because the main scorer for the Warriors, averaging a team-best 26.2 factors per recreation. His scoring common surpassed 31 factors by his senior 12 months.
“My expertise at Oak Hill actually made me understand that I may very well be an NBA participant,” he says. “Actually, my junior 12 months taking part in with Cole, Kofi, Christian—me taking part in and being the youngest within the beginning line-up on the time.”
His scoring prowess was felt year-round, although. The VA native might at all times be discovered scorching the AAU scene simply as simply. Take the summer season of 2019, for instance. Taking part in within the Nike EYBL circuit—at all times thought to be essentially the most aggressive and star-studded grassroots league on the planet—Thomas led all 40 groups in scoring with 29.5 factors per recreation. In his 13 video games through the common season, he scored 30+ in nearly half of them.
School wasn’t any totally different. Thomas led all freshmen in DI basketball in scoring with 23.zero factors this previous season at LSU. He broke a couple of data within the course of, together with most 25+ level video games by a freshman within the SEC. He had 16 of these. The earlier report was 9 by Malik Monk.
Thomas has been doing his pre-draft coaching in L.A., the place he obtained the chance to attach with an Oak Hill legend in June. A dinner with L.A. Clippers guard Rajon Rondo is the place he factors to because the supply of the perfect piece of recommendation he acquired this spring whereas making ready to make the transition to the professionals.
“We had been all consuming out. It was a terrific likelihood to fulfill him, being from the identical faculty, Oak Hill, it was actually good. Simply to take a seat round and speak to him for just a little bit, it was a very good speak we had,” remembers Thomas. “The most effective piece of recommendation I obtained was from Rajon Rondo. He instructed me to only keep true to your self, no matter you haven’t completed earlier than, don’t do it now—simply keep in your consolation zone.”
Cam’s been doing simply that since he was 7.
GET YOUR COPY OF SLAM 233.
Pictures by way of Getty Photographs.