PITSBURG – Franklin Monroe senior Kameron Thurmond committed on Thursday afternoon to play college basketball at Edinboro University.
“It feels great,” said Thurmond, the son of Kristal and Anthony Thurmond. “Just real humbled for this. I know there’s been a lot of hard work for this, and it’s paying off so I’m excited”
When Thurmond arrived at Franklin Monroe during his junior year of high school he wasn’t ready to be a college basketball player, Franklin Monroe boys basketball coach Troy Myers said, but he developed himself into one.
“It’s extremely exciting,” Myers said. “I think 16 months ago he would have never been in this position, but I think due to his willingness to be vulnerable enough to be coached, to be helped, to accept help, committed enough to get better every day as a player and as a person and then I think humble enough to understand that it would take a commitment to getting better every day because I think when he came in here his heart was kind of hard, and it took a little bit of softening to kind of get outside of himself.”
The biggest challenge with Thurmond, Myers said, was to make his heart soft and have him become a servant to his teammates and the people around him. By doing that and working hard he was able to give himself an opportunity to play college basketball.
“He’s spent more hours in this gym than anybody has any knowledge of, I can assure you that,” Myers said. “Weekends, early mornings, just he and I so a lot of work that was put in. Just any everyday digging mentality to get better and to make himself have this opportunity. I think he created it for himself. He’s earned it.”
At 6 feet 10 inches tall, Thurmond towered over opposing players in high school. He played against other big guys in AAU basketball, he said, but now he’s excited to have that opportunity every day at the college level.
“I’m just real excited to be able to play against that day to day because that’s how I’m going to get better as a player,” he said.
Myers thinks Thurmond is better suited for the college game than high school as officials won’t be so quick to call a foul on him.
“One glaring that you can’t hide is his height,” Myers said of Thurmond’s strengths as a basketball player. “But probably more important than his height is just his size in general, ability to take up space, ability to create mismatches and honestly his everyday digging mentality because whatever anybody tells him that he needs to get better at he’s going to work to do it.”
Thurmond had other NCAA Division II offers and opportunities with National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics programs. But with Edinboro, which is located in Pennsylvania, Thurmond found a school and a team he enjoyed.
“Getting to meet the coach on my visit there, I really enjoyed the coaching staff,” he said. “They have great intentions, and I love the school itself in general. I feel like I can get a great education out of it.”
While at Edinboro Thurmond plans to study sports management and minor in marketing. His goal is to complete his college career with the Fighting Scots, who finished this past season 8-18 overall and 6-16 in the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference, and earn his degree.
“I just want to finish it,” he said. “Really I want to be able to say that I finished it without transferring, without doing anything out of the way. I just want to be able to say I did it.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.