NEW YORK — Keith Thomas, the 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward from Westchester Community College, committed to St. John’s on Monday.
Thomas, who averaged 15.3 points and 15.7 rebounds last season, chose the Johnnies over Loyola-Chicago and Fordham. He will have at least two years of eligibility and possibly three.
“It’s in New York, why wouldn’t I [commit]? Thomas told SNY.tv. “They was two games away or a few games away from getting to the [NCAA] Tournament. They got a good backcourt and there’s a lot of minutes there for me. I live right in New York, so I gotta eat in New York, so why not?”
As for potentially getting three years at the D-1 level, Thomas said, “Yeah, it’s possible if the paperwork goes in right, it’s possible to have three years.”
Thomas recently visited St. John’s and USF, but his visit to Miami last week was cancelled. He previously visited Loyola and said it was tough not to pick Loyola.
“Loyola, I loved Loyola, that was a hard decision to make,” he said. “That was one of the hardest things I had to do in a long time.”
Asked what attributes he’ll bring, Thomas said, “Aggression, hunger.”
Thomas grabbed 33 rebounds in one game last season, and 31 in another.
Asked if he will rebound for the Johnnies, he said, “I’m going to try to.
St. John’s already has a commitment from 6-11 Adonis Delarosa of Christ the King. Delarosa and Thomas join returning bigs Chris Obekpa and Christian Jones.
“The strength of our team is the depth on the perimeter and we wanted to bolster the front line,” Johnnies coach Steve Lavin said Monday, speaking generally. “So we’ve added some pieces to complement Chris Obekpa and Christian Jones to give us more depth.”
St. John’s has three scholarships remaining and it’s unclear if they will use all three.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.