Posted On: 07/16/18 9:00 AM
Antonio Thomas is a hard-nosed point guard, with the physicality of a power forward and the excellent court vision of what a floor general needs.
Thomas has character, something a point guard needs to have to be successful. He holds himself accountable for the flow of the game, even when he’s on the bench. He learned everything from his father, who carries the exact same name, throughout his years of playing organized basketball. Thomas’ father didn’t play college basketball nor did he play professionally.
But he did play high school basketball at Treadwell High School alongside former NBA All-Star, former Memphis East High School coach, and current Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball coach Penny Hardaway. Last season, Thomas helped the Mustangs win their third straight TSSAA Bluecross AAA state championship.
Thanks to Thomas’ father, he has a competitive nature that can’t be taught.
“I like to motivate myself,” Thomas said. “You can say I was born with it. It’s just been natural. Ever since I was born, and I started playing basketball, it just came down through me.”
Thomas’ father is the reason why he’s so poised, comfortable, and confident when he’s playing in big games, with so much at stake. Spending lots of hours, minutes, and seconds in the gym working on his craft with his father paid off for the senior guard.
Last season, Thomas played alongside some of the best talent in the state of Tennessee in James Wiseman, Malcolm Dandridge, Chandler and Johnathan Lawson. All four of those guys can score the basketball, play stifling defense, but none of them can run the offense like Thomas. The special thing about Thomas is that he knows when to take his game to another level when his teammates need him to provide scoring, get a defensive stop, or make an important pass.
It’s not hard for Thomas to play at a high level with superb talent on his team each time he hits the floor.
“It brings a little more out of me,” Thomas said when he was asked if his teammates’ level of play pushes him to be better.
Before he graduates from high school, Thomas wants to win another state championship. Most importantly, he wants to win AAA Mr. Basketball. Last season, Thomas received some votes as a junior, but those votes weren’t enough to outlast Cordova’s Tyler Harris, East’ Alex Lomax, and Southwind’s Mark Freeman.
Thomas’ ultimate goal isn’t farfetched, since he knows what it takes to win on the biggest stage. Offensively, Thomas is a solid scorer. In the Jerry Peters Memphis Summer Classic, he had 40 total points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.
Thomas has yet to decide on where he will attend school, but has offers from South Alabama, UT-Martin, East Tennessee State, Florida International, Bradley, and James Madison.