Micah Thomas looking to take the next step with Springwood

Published 10:30 am Saturday, July 8, 2023

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Springwood’s basketball team will be going into next season looking very different from last season. However, one thing will remain the same. Micah Thomas will play a major role in the success for the Wildcats. 

Thomas transferred to Springwood last year from Auburn. Head Coach Lisa Sampson said that the transition was seamless for Thomas.
“He stepped right in like he’d been there for years,” Sampson said. “Being a point guard, he’s asked to kind of be the coach on the floor and he really does. He’s not a very vocal guy, but he leads by example and just has a great understanding for the game.”

At the end of last season, Sampson sat down with each of her returning players and talked with them about their goals for next season. 

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“His goal for this summer was really to get in the weight room, to get stronger and I’ve seen him do that,” Sampson said. 

Thomas said that he has been doing squats, lunges, and some upper body workouts to help him improve his game. 

Many players from last season graduated. Thomas will have to be even more of a leader on and off the court for Springwood next season. 

One key player that Springwood lost was Eli Westbrook. With Westbrook gone, Thomas knows that he will have to step up. 

“I feel like scoring ability,I have to improve on that a lot because he was a major part in that,” Thomas said. 

Thomas is also working on becoming a better leader for Springwood. Sampson already believes that he is a leader on the team despite not being a very vocal leader. 

“You can be a successful leader even if you’re not as vocal,” Sampson said. “I think he’s got the ability to be more vocal, but he has the respect of his teammates based on the way he plays.”

Currently Thomas leads the team by example, but he still plans on being more vocal and being a better communicator next season. 

Springwood is done with playdates for the summer, but Thomas has still been taking every opportunity to get on the court. Thomas has been participating in travel ball and college camps throughout the summer.

One of the main aspects that Thomas is working to improve upon is his defense. 

“I have to be pretty good at that to go to the next level,” Thomas said. “I’ve been trying to improve on my on ball defense because with me being my height, I know college coaches, that’s what they want to see.”

Currently Thomas stands at 5’11. Due to being undersized, Thomas knows that he has to play harder than everyone else to catch the eye of college coaches. 

“At this height, you have to sell them, that’s your mentality, you’re tough, you’ll be a dog on defense,”Thomas said. “I try to show them that all the time when I play.”

Thomas’ travel ball team, 3D Elite, gives him more of an opportunity to play off the ball. With Springwood, he constantly has the ball in his hands. 

Thomas has been playing point guard for most of his life. He has become a natural facilitator, but scoring has been something Thomas has had to work on. 

Thomas still lets the flow of the game determine how aggressive or passive he can be on the offensive side. 

“Depends on how my teammates are playing,” Thomas said. “If they’re coming out the game hitting shots, I feel like then I can facilitate [and] get them the ball more.”

If his teammates are not shooting the ball as well, Thomas looks to be more aggressive and look for his own shot. 

The point guard is often an extension of the head coach. Sampson said that Thomas is like a coach when he’s on the floor. 

“He understands the offense,” Sampson said. “He understands what we’re trying to do and to get our team in our offense.”

Sampson said that Thomas also acts as the point of aggression for the team on defense. One of Thomas’ best qualities is his basketball IQ. However, Sampson believes that his whole game sets him apart. 

“I think it’s the total package,” Sampson said. 

Several new faces will play minutes for Springwood next season, but chemistry should not be an issue. Several players on Springwood’s team also play travel ball together. 

“It’s very natural,” Thomas said. “We’ve been practicing together, we’ve been scrimmaging and the playdates. The chemistry is going to come easy to us I feel like.”

The expectations for Springwood’s basketball program are usually high, but Thomas expects even more from the team next season. 

“We made it to the final four last season so I feel like we need to exceed that and make it to state and win it,” Thomas said.