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BOYS BASKETBALL: Billy Thomas to transfer out of UofD Jesuit, and reclassify to the 2017 class

By: Branden Hunter, June 19, 2014, 10:48 am

Going to a prep school has become the new fad among today’s players. Every year you hear about players leaving their hometown school, to transfer to a prep school out of state for various reasons.

Last year, two of Michigan top players, Trevor Manuel of Lansing Sexton, and Miles Bridges  of Flint Southwestern both transferred to top prep schools outside of Michigan. They are now at Oak Hill (Va.), and Huntington Prep (W.Va.) respectively.  Now another one of Michigan’s rising stars has followed suit, in UofD Jesuit shooting guard Billy Thomas.

The 5-11 Thomas was instrumental in the Cubs deep run in the Class A state playoffs, but decided he needed to go in another direction, to Genesis Academy, in Lynchburg Virginia.

"First off, competition will be better out at prep school, playing against teams like Oak Hill, Huntington Prep, and  Montverde," he said. "The exposure is off the charts too."

Thomas was scheduled to graduate in the class of 2016 at UofD Jesuit, but has decided to reclassify while at Genesis. He’ll now join the class of 2017, something he said will help him in the long run.

"Gaining another year will help me in a number of  ways," he said. "Getting away will help me grow into a man, and the vigorous workouts daily will help me to get better."

Thomas considered a few other top prep schools around the country, and even a school close to his home in Michigan, before deciding on Genesis. They only went 17-12 last season, but have three of the best players in the state of Virginia on their team, and Thomas’ sharp-shooting abilities will only add to that.

"The situation that I will be put in at Genesis Academy will benefit me a lot," said Thomas. "I considered Montverde, Huntington Prep and a local school, West Bloomfield, but felt Genesis was the right place for me."

Had Thomas stayed at UofD Jesuit, the Cubs would have been a top five team in the state for sure, and still may be one without Thomas. Rumors circled that he left because he didn’t want to be in the shadows of point guard Cassius Winston anymore, who is one of the best in the country. Thomas shot those rumors down, and said he made the move for himself.

"I have to say that I’m leaving because I believe I will be in a better situation for myself, and I’m looking forward to getting better," he said. "I love UofD Jesuit, and I always will. We had a lot of success there with last year’s team, and I learned a lot there. But it’s time for me to move on and explore new opportunities."

UofD Jesuit has two 6-9 forwards, in Donatus Eke and Greg Eboigbodin, who came over from Nigeria to live with Thomas and his family. The two played with the Cubs summer league team this week, and may stay at UofD Jesuit, which Thomas was unsure of.