Devin Thomas isn't exactly an unknown on the college basketball recruiting trail, having drawn considerable interest from a number of the nation's top programs before eventually signing to join Wake Forest next fall. Still, the Central Dauphin (Pa.) High senior appears set to become much more of a household name after throwing down one of the season's most monstrous dunks on Thursday night, ripping down the backboard and delaying his team's game for a day so the backboard could be replaced.
As reported by a number of Pennsylvania sources -- the Patriot-News and WHTM-TV (which was broadcasting the Mid-Penn tournament final live) primary among them -- Thomas ripped down the backboard during his team's game against Greencastle-Antrim (Pa.) High with 11 minutes remaining in the game (the game was halted with 3:02 left in the third quarter), forcing the tournament final to be delayed a full day so school officials at the host site, Cumberland Valley (Pa.) High, could replace the backboard.
According to the Patriot-News, no admission will be charged for fans who show up on Friday night to see the remainder of the game, which Central Dauphin led 39-30 when it was postponed. When the game restarts, it will do so with the same scoreline and time on the clock.
The play that led to the sudden suspension of the playoff contest started with Central Dauphin guard Nick Seefeldt, who caught the ball off an inbounds play at midcourt just beyond the 3-point arc. With Greencastle-Antrim defenders lining up Seefeldt to ensure he didn't launch a three, the guard lofted a point-perfect pass to Thomas on the backside, who threw down a monstrous flush and brought the backboard shattering down with him.
"[Nick] knows where I like it at," Thomas told the Patriot-News. "We've been playing [together] since fifth grade ... he's the best one at throwing oops.
"I didn't think I dunked it that hard for it to break. Guess I did, so we'll continue this tomorrow."
Interestingly, the backboard breaker may have provided a bit of respite for Central Dauphin's opponent, with Greencastle-Antrim getting a night to go back over game tape and try to find a way to slow down Thomas' dominance in the paint. The 6-foot-9 superstar had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the first half alone -- with all of his points scored in the second quarter -- and had only missed one shot … a ridiculous windmill dunk attempt.
That performance got even better in the third quarter, right up to the point when the game was halted.
"It's going to give us time to watch the first half of the tape," said G-A skipper Gary Martin, who had several players suffer minor cuts. "We're gonna look at what we did in the first quarter to limit Thomas' touches to what we did in the second quarter, when we didn't limit his touches.
"Boy, did he play a beautiful quarter."
Even with the extra time, at least one sports celebrity who was in attendance sounded a note of confidence that Thomas and his teammates would probably end up on top. As noted by Larry Brown Sports, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was in attendance at the game after being told he needed to check out Thomas in person. What he saw didn't disappoint.
"Devin Thomas from central dauphin is REAL…. Ripped every thing down WOW!!!!!!," McCoy tweeted after leaving the game.
Indeed, Thomas is for real … and is a real hazard for backboards everywhere, as the staff at Cumberland Valley discovered on Thursday.
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