Next in Line
Following in the footsteps of his uncle and sister, Shaquille Thomas aims to be the family’s next star.
SLAM: Was there any male in particular that you tried to lean on and get help from?
ST: Yeah, my cousin Tarik and my uncle. And my sister, even though she’s a girl, she helped out a lot with school and just life because she’s older than me. My AAU coach also.
SLAM: Waiting for your turn at Paterson Catholic must have been frustrating at times.
ST: It was hard to adjust because I came in as a freshman thinking I was gonna’ play right away. I just had to learn to wait for your turn. It was definitely pretty hard but I ended up adjusting to it.
SLAM: What do you think is your biggest attribute?
ST: The strongest side of my game is that I can play a lot of positions. I’m long and athletic. I could do a lot of things on the court like dribble or shoot.
SLAM: What do you feel like you need to work on?
ST: The weak side of my game is that I need to get stronger for when I go to the next level.
SLAM: Is there any player in particular that you like to watch and assimilate your game to the most?
ST: Kevin Durant. He ‘s 6-10 and could put the ball on the floor. He shoots like a guard. That’s what I like about him.
SLAM: Cincinnati surprised some people by playing better than many could have expected. How good do you think this team could be in the next few years?
ST: I think we’re going to be real good next year. We got a junior college player coming in, a post player coming in from Texas. And then with Yancy [Gates] coming back and all the other upperclassmen coming back. With our recruits and all – I think we’re going to be real good. We got leading guards coming back so I think we’re gonna’ be good.
SLAM: This past season you played at NIA Prep. How do you feel you finished off your high school career?
ST: I think I finished off pretty good. I got Prep Player of the Year for Jersey, so I think I did pretty good. I think I finished off pretty strong.
SLAM: At 6-7, is there anything else you want to add to your game?
ST: An expansion to my game would be making the three-point shot consistently.
SLAM: How would you describe your entire high school career – not just on the court but all the things that went in changing schools and in the classroom?
ST: It was like a roller coaster. Just so much ups and downs. Basketball, school, and having to switch from school to school. It was like a roller coaster. I was up one minute and then it would go all the way down. It was pretty crazy. But I think it helped me out in the long run because I don’t think a lot of people can handle all this stuff. There are a lot of kids that have both of their parents at home and I don’t even think a lot of people know that I grew up without both of my parents.