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Buffalo Grove Saturday, 1/12/13 New Trier's Jordan Thomas (4) and Buffalo Grove's Luke Potnick (2) dive after a loose ball during the second quarter of Saturday's game at Buffalo Grove. New Trier won the game, 65-56. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times
Jordan Thomas is at a critical point in his basketball career.
As a junior at New Trier, he’s focusing one eye toward his future after high school.
“Playing college basketball always has been my goal,” said Thomas, a 5-foot-11 guard and three-year varsity player. “I’m being recruited by some schools now, and I am continuing to get better at my game.”
One of the areas of concentration for Thomas this season has been improving his mid-range game, that no-man’s land between the paint and the three-point arc.
“I am working on finishing those kinds of shots, so I don’t have to always get all the way to the basket or shoot from the outside,” he said.
To that end, Thomas spends extra time at the gym after practice, shooting countless 10- and 12-footers. What’s more, he also works with Octavius Parker, a personal instructor who played college basketball at North Park in the mid-1990s. Parker was one of the best shooters in program history.
“We are trying to perfect the floater and a pull-up jumper in the lane,” Thomas said. “This is really something I’ve been working on on my own, outside of (New Trier). Octavius has some secrets he can share with me.”
Thomas, who played at North Shore Country Day in middle school before transferring to New Trier, has been with Parker since a young age and likes that Parker once played a similar style of game.
“He’s even shorter than me, so he had to find different ways to score,” said Thomas, who met Parker through the Niles Park District. “He always preaches that mid-range game to me because of his experience. He knows what works and what doesn’t.”~.