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Posted On: 06/15/18 8:57 AM
With Penny Hardaway and Alex Lomax moving on to the University of Memphis, a lot of questions surround East High School’s basketball program.
Who is the next head coach? Who will run the team? Is the team still unbeatable?
As of right now, Jevonte Holmes, a professional basketball trainer, has taken over the program; as for the Point Guard position, the keys have been handed over to former Ridgeway guard, Antonio Thomas.
At Ridgeway, Thomas was the lead guard for the Roadrunners with Brandon Mason and Antwan Beans balancing out the backcourt. Thomas kept the Roadrunners together with leadership and constant unselfish plays. Early on, Thomas did not score much due to the pieces surrounding him, so he took initiative in finding his teammates and helping them flourish. As the season progressed, the Roadrunners needed an extra spark in the scoring department; this gave Thomas an opening to showcase some of his offensive abilities. Unfortunately, the Roadrunners season ended early in the regionals against Thomas’ new home, East High School.
Unlike Lomax, Thomas has not had the pleasure of playing with any of East’s players on the circuit due to him playing for a separate organization, Team Thad. The June team camps are pivotal for him to get accustomed to the team and a new coach. As of right now, Thomas seems to be enjoying his time with the Mustangs after a few games. During the University of Memphis and Bartlett camps, Thomas delivered the ball well to his giants, Malcolm Dandridge and James Wiseman. He put them in great positions to score the ball without taking too many dribbles. Also, Thomas looked really good in the open court with his head up in constant search of an open teammate. He displayed a nice mid-range shot around the free-throw line and made a few 3-pointers. On the defensive end, Thomas was very vocal and applying pressure on the opposing team’s guards.
Fortunately for East fans, Thomas is not a huge drop off from Alex Lomax. The biggest thing for Thomas is to build the chemistry with his teammates. Most of them are use to hearing Lomax’s voice, so it will take some readjustment for those guys as well. Memphis East should still make a strong run within the State.