The Best Player in the Class of 2013 - Chris Thomas
When you watch 2013 guard Chris Thomas play, it's clear that he's the best player on the court. And usually, it's not even close.
"I like to bring the ball up real fast, get to the rim, and score or make the pretty pass", Thomas told PGU.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Princeton Day Academy (Maryland) sophomore is already a better prospect than most of the elite players in the 2011 and 2012 classes. Simply put, you wouldn't think he was as young as he is if you saw his talent with your own eyes.
Thomas is from a small neighborhood in northeast Denver and is one of the few highly rated recruits to come out of the state of Colorado. The last being Mr. Big Shot himself, Chauncey Billups, who has had an illustrious professional career.
"I'm from Montbello," Thomas told PointguardU.com. Montbello has become more "inner city" in character because of the development of neighborhoods further north and east, pushing it closer to downtown.
When Thomas was 14 years old he was getting pulled in the wrong direction because of his environment. The presence of gangs and the pressure to become the next great player out of his state grew distracting for Thomas. While his coach and family did what they could to keep him grounded, it became apparent that a change of scenery would be the best option to keep Thomas on the right track. Unfortunately it's a move that lot of players are forced to make these days.
Chris moved to Lanham, MD to play at Princeton Day Academy, but comes back every summer to play for his AAU team the Colorado Hawks. Thomas has been with the Hawks AAU orginization since the 4th grade.
Thomas has the whole package. From amazing court vision to great size, he has it all. And the scary part is that he's still growing. It's conceivable that he could still have a lot of growing left, as some of his family members are close to 7 ft. tall.
Thomas is a pure scorer. Thats's an undisputed fact. However, imagine Lebron James with Steve Nash's eyes. That's what Chris Thomas has the potential to be with his rare combination of speed and court vision. He can break down any defender on his way to the rim and make the unseen pass without hesitation. He can really do it all and it's shocking to think he has three years of high school left.
Ironically, his favorite player is Lebron James and Thomas thinks James will win a title in his first year in Miami.
"I think it's better for me to have three years of high school left," Thomas said. Even with so much time before he steps foot on a college campus, Thomas has offers from the Memphis, Tennessee, Ohio State and Arizona already. That list will grow and he will basically have his choice of any school he wants to attend. If it were still allowed, Thomas would likely be drafted out of high school.
Arizona was the first school to offer Thomas and that impressed him.
"That means a lot to me," Thomas told PGU. "I like the atmosphere and academics from what I have seen and heard. I think I would fit in real nicely and think the coaches can get me where I want to go".
Thomas has no plans of making any unofficial visits this year. Thomas also told PGU he will wait until his senior year to make a decision even though his recruitment is already getting heated.
"Schools are really coming at me, they're trying to talk to me and watch me play," Thomas told PGU.
PGU first watched Chris Thomas this summer in Anaheim at the Best of Summer Classic. Making play after play, he made our jaws drop. That's no easy feat considering we were on the road watching elite talents like Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner of the Oakland Soliders for a month. Thomas would come down the floor with blazing speed and then beat his man or just pull up for three. His talent is undeniable and his ceiling is through the roof. He is one of the most thrilling players you can watch. He transcends age.
Sean Miller, Archie Miller, and James Whitford were also in attendance at the Best of Summer to watch Thomas. They made it a point to be watching him in numbers. That's a clear sign to any recruit that says we're here because we want you playing for us.
Chris Thomas would probably agree because when asked who was recruiting him the hardest he said, "Arizona".
Regardless of interest in recruiting, any basketball fan should watch Thomas any chance they get. He's that good.