GC Basketball Star Makes History

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Jordan Thomas cemented himself as one of the best athletes in GC history. On Jan. 30, the men’s basketball star became the third highest scorer in GC history, passing Terrell Harris on the all-time scoring list. Thomas also holds the all-time record for most points scored as a Bobcat during the university’s NCAA-era.

Thomas and the men’s basketball team caught fire to start the season. They have rattled off a seven-game winning streak and hold an impressive 8-2 record on the season. The Bobcats sit second atop the PBC standings behind Flagler.

The senior superstar is averaging 19.8 points per game while shooting a career-best 39.1% from three-point range. In GC’s win over USC Aiken, Thomas tallied 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Following his team’s most recent win versus Ga. Southwestern, Thomas has now scored 1,680 career points.

“I knew I was close to cracking the top three, but it’s not really something I think about during the game,” Thomas said. “Honestly, my goal is to be the school’s all-time leading scorer. Being third is cool, but I’m really trying to go for number one.”

While he aims for higher scoring heights, Thomas’ focus remains solely on winning games. His team-first mentality contributed to his squad’s recent success.

Thomas’ versatility allowed him to switch positions in the lineup. After playing shooting guard last season, he moved to point guard in early January. The Bobcats have won all seven of their games since the change.

“Throughout this whole win streak, I’ve played point guard,” Thomas said. “I feel like it has allowed me to improve my leadership for the team. As the point guard, you have no choice but to be a leader on the court.”

The team has clearly benefited from the positional adjustment. The Bobcats are shooting 45.6% from the field through nine games this season, which marks a five-percent increase from last season.

Over the past two weeks, the Bobcats have been without men’s basketball head coach Mark Gainous due to COVID-19 protocols. In Gainous’ absence, assistant coach and former player Ryan Aquino retained the team’s focus and kept them motivated.

Aquino coached Harris while he played for GC, and he acknowledged the phenomenal work ethic of both Harris and Thomas.

“Terrell is one of the best players we’ve ever had here,” Aquino said. “He and Jordan are the two hardest workers I have ever seen come through the program, including my playing days here.”

Thomas’ diligence and commitment to the program fueled his teammates’ success over the years. In a season where COVID-19 has already postponed four of the team’s games and kept fans from attending home games until recently, Thomas’ accomplishment serves as a bright spot for the team, as well as the entire athletic program.

After playing point guard for the Bobcats last season, junior Wesley Simpson swapped places with Thomas in the lineup at the beginning of their win streak. Simpson has thrived in his new role as the team’s shooting guard, and he recognized the significance of his teammate’s historical accomplishment.

“In a season like this, I think it’s great to see a record being broken like that,” Simpson said. “Jordan is a lethal scorer. He takes a lot of pressure off of me on the court. It’s a great feeling to know that I can swing him the ball, and he can score at any time.”

Thomas’ teammates trust his scoring ability, and he trusts their ability to get him the ball. More importantly, he trusts that they will hit shots when he is double-teamed or pressed, which has proven a key factor in the team’s recent success and efficiency.

After a surprise run to the final four of last season’s Peach Belt Conference tournament, the GC men’s basketball team came back this year with a healthier and more experienced roster. Thomas believes the team is primed for a championship run.

“I feel like last year’s loss fueled us,” Thomas said. “We are probably better than a lot of teams on paper this season, but we want to keep playing with a chip on our shoulder. We can’t let our guard down.”

While Thomas continues to make GC basketball history, his main goal for the season is quite clear: a PBC championship.