Isaiah Thomas is back. No, not the New York Knicks president and former NBA great but a talented class of 2007 prospect from Curtis Senior High School in Tacoma, Washington. The younger player is trying to live up to his namesake. In the process, a number of schools are starting to take notice.
Thomas, a 5-foot-8, 155-pound point guard who also goes by “Zeke” just like the former Detroit Piston, says he doesn’t mind sharing a name with such a great. His parents, though, have their own reasons for naming their son.
“My dad loves his so he kind of named me after him but my mom said it’s from the Bible,” Thomas said. “Sometimes it is hard because people don’t believe me. I have some tapes of him and lately they’ve been showing a lot of his old games on NBA TV so I try to watch him as much as I can.”
The younger Thomas feels like his time spent studying the Hall of Famer is paying off.
“I think I play like him. He’s feisty and I try to get into people on defense and I like to find the open man on the floor to try and set everyone up. Passing - I like to do that. I think that is one of my best traits.”
Playing with United Salad 15 and under team this summer along side Kevin Love and Kyle Singler, both of whom are in the top four in the class of 2007 Rivals.com rankings, Thomas is the envy of nearly every point guard in his class. No one has those kinds of options.
“It makes the game so much easier when you look inside and you see those two guys,” Thomas said. “Just throw it up and they’ll do something good with it.”
The team could be one of the top teams in the country next year. College coaches aren’t waiting to see the prospects from the Pacific Northwest. The exodus west has begun.
“The thing is, it’s always been here but people are just now starting to look at the Northwest for players,” Thomas said. “People are shining more in the summer and because of guys like (University of Washington guard) Nate Robinson, I think the attention is starting to come around.”
The attention is indeed there. Thomas said he’s heard from the likes of Clemson, Minnesota, Washington and Washington State while Arizona and UCLA are also keeping tabs on the sophomore.
Now if only a Magic Johnson emerges in the class of 2007.