Eagle Basketball is Primed For Dominance

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St. Thomas Basketball returns 9 seniors and adds 2 junior transfers, setting up a loaded lineup making them one of the strongest private schools teams in the state.

St. Thomas returns nine seniors and 4 of their 5 starters to the squad, while retaining the entire coaching staff. The 4 starters from last year who return are: division-1 bound Jacob Pike ‘23, small forward Shaffer Henderson ‘23, center Michael Oaks ‘23, and Houston Top-50 guard Ty Beston ‘23. The reserves are anchored by sophomore guard Evan Levy and seniors Matthew Fote, Jackson Fazande, Preston Bowman, Trey Robinson, and Luka Ljuboja. Both junior transfers are impressive EYBL circuit guards in Aaron Valentine and J’Mar Franklin.

“I am excited to start on a new team where we can compete on a high level,” J’Mar Franklin said.

Head Coach Karnell James looks to rebound after a disappointing finish to the season, losing by a single point to San Antonio Christian in the first round of the playoffs. St. Thomas saw their first opportunity to display their talented squad in the summer TABC showcase, where they went 3-0 beating Arlington Heights, Anderson, and McKinney North in dominant fashion. Guards J’Mar Franklin and Evan Levy paired with lengthy forwards Ty Beston and Aaron Valentine dominated the defensive end, holding teams to 33.6 points per game and winning by an average of 17 points.

One of the star players to look out for on this squad is returning Senior Jake Pike. Jake led the team in blocks, rebounds, and points last year and will make his decision on where he will play division-1 basketball soon. Talented and shifty guard J’Mar Franklin brings a new quickness to the team after transferring from Clear Brook High School. Senior guard Ty Beston also looks forward after a promising junior season where he led the team in steals.

“I am loving the squad we have here at STH and look forward to playoffs, where we can make a deep run at the state championship” Jake Pike said.

St. Thomas is excited at their championship aspirations this season, but understands that it has a lot more to do in order to put themselves in a contending position.

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