Shaq Thomas Denied Waiver | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / January 30.
  • Shaq Thomas Denied Waiver

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    Shaquille Thomas was denied a waiver to play immediately this year at Montclair High School, according to my esteemed former colleague Keith Idec of the Herald News.

    I can’t find the link, so if anyone has it, please feel free to send it.

    The 6-foot-6 Thomas, the No. 13 small forward in the Class of 2010 according to Rivals, transferred out of Paterson Catholic in October after his uncle, current New York Knicks forward Tim Thomas, decided his nephew’s academic needs were not being met at PC.

    An new NJSIAA rule mandates that student-athletes must sit a full year before being able to play at their new school. The Thomas family sought a waiver on the grounds that Thomas was transferring for academic reasons, not athletic ones. Dorothy Thomas, Shaq’s grandmother, also has a vision problem that prevents her from driving him to school.

    The Thomas family plans to appeal the waiver, but cannot do so until it receives written notification on the initial denial. That will take 10 days from last Thursday, according to the Herald News.

    Last year, Shaq Thomas, a long, athletic wing with an improving jump shot, came off the bench as the Cougars won the Passaic County championship and then fell to Bob Hurley’s St. Anthony team in the Non-Public B state playoffs.

    Thomas’ transfer broke up a quintet of highly talented juniors, four of whom have played together since freshmen year. Thomas played with fellow juniors Fuquan Edwin, Jayon James and Jermaine Peart for two years at PC, and fellow junior Trevor Clemmings later transferred in from Paramus Catholic. All five players hold Division I scholarships. Seton Hall made a combination offer to Edwin, Clemmings and Plainfield junior Isaiah Epps. Thomas has a number of offers as well as interest from defending NCAA champion Kansas.

    As far as his college situation, Shaq Thomas attended an Elite Camp at Syracuse in August and ultimately decided he wanted to verbally commit to play for Jim Boeheim.

    He called Syracuse associate head coach Mike Hopkins in October to say he wanted to commit, but Hopkins told Thomas he had to clear it first with Tim and Dorothy Thomas and his coaches.

    “I called Coach Hop and told him I was ready, but my family thought that it was kind of too soon,” Shaq told Cuseconfidential.com. “I am still open and waiting at this moment It was not that I really pulled back it was just like wait and see for more options and visit more schools.”

    (Photo courtesy NYChoops.net)



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.