Class of 2013 signee Sindarius Thornwell returned home over the weekend for a two game stretch against Keenan and Ridge View. The 6-foot-5 guard transferred to Oak Hill for his senior season in order to play against better competition and compete nationally.
This past weekend was the final time that Thornwell will have a chance to play basketball in the state of South Carolina before he enrolls with the Gamecocks this summer. It was something that he enjoyed but did not see it as any different as any other game he has played this season.
“It felt good,” Thornwell told TheBigSpur.com, on Saturday afternoon. “It wasn’t really different than any other game.”
On Friday night, Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin and his staff watched as Thornwell battled against 2014 commitment Marcus Stroman. Thornwell’s team would win the game by a convincing margin while several future South Carolina teammates were in the stands taking in the action.
“I didn’t even know they were there until the end of the game,” Thornwell said. “When they were leaving they hit me on my shoulder and that is when I realized they were there.”
Even though Oak Hill went 2-0 during their brief stay in Columbia, it was not the best weekend for the five star prospect. Against Keenan, Thornwell made just 5-of-15 shots to finish with 12 points but did grab six rebounds.
The effort drew some reactions from Thornwell’s future coaches who made sure to inform him of them on Saturday morning.
“I talked to coach Lamont (Saturday) morning,” Thornwell said. “He told me to rebound the ball and then Coach Frank called me and got on me about missing shots and not rebounding or playing my game. He told me I was playing too cool.”
Thornwell and his teammates are now off to Honolulu, Hawaii for a tournament and will also travel to Las Vegas, Nev. in February for another tournament. During that time, Thornwell will look to improve his game in order to make an impact in his freshman season with the Gamecocks and there is one area he is specifically looking to get better at.
“I am trying to improve on my pull up jump shot,” he said. “I need to get my shot consistent so that I won’t get in these slumps like I am now.”
Oak Hill Academy head coach Steve Smith discusses Thornwell’s contributions to one of the premier high school basketball programs in the country. He said Thornwell has “been our best player” through this point in the season and discusses how he will fit with the South Carolina program next year.