Jourdin Thomas is a dual threat.
The South Side senior is equally as dynamic on the basketball court as she is in the classroom, in large part because of a staunch commitment to going above and beyond what she’s asked to do.
Not only is she enrolled — and succeeding — in a course load comprised of all International Baccalaureate (IB) classes; she’s also leading one of Nassau’s top teams in Class A.
Thomas scored 31 and 47 points in wins over Roosevelt and East Meadow last week, making 14 three-pointers and earning Newsday’s Athlete of the Week honors.
“Since ninth grade, I’ve always had a lot of work and I’ve had to balance that,” Thomas said. “I’m used to having to do both and perform.”
But games and practices are just the beginning of Thomas’ commitment to the sport. She spends time in the gym after each practice shooting extra jump shots, which South Side coach Dan Ferrick said has made her a more complete scorer.
“One of the things that evolved is that she has a much better pull-up jumper,” he said. “Now instead of going to the hoop, she hits anything from the key and in.”
Ferrick said Thomas carries a 100 GPA and is being recruited by West Point, NYU and University of Chicago for basketball. She would like to study neuroscience.
It all stems from her commitment to do more — more jumpers, more classes and now more responsibility.
“It’s kind of just a force of habit to do extra work in the classroom and on the court,” she said.
The only senior on the Cyclones, the 5-6 Thomas has them out to a 9-2 start because of her ability to shoot, drive and distribute. Thomas runs the show, which was always Ferrick’s plan for this season.
“She’s the captain,” he said. “She’s our only senior. I’ve probably put more on her than I’ve put on any captain we’ve ever had.”
He later added: “She makes my job very easy. She’s on the court; she’s running the team. The team responds to her.”
Close losses to Wheatley and Island Trees are the only blemishes on South Side’s resume. Thomas, who is averaging 26.5 points this season and has yet to score fewer than 18 points in a game, could lead the Cyclones to a deep playoff run if she continues her torrid start to the season.
Ferrick said she’s the best guard to come through South Side in his 17 years with the program. He admitted that she might be the best player overall he’s ever coached.
And while her talent is natural, it’s augmented by a desire to work. And always do more.