Rewind to February 14, 2012: Hank Thorns delivered for the TCU fan base one of the most electrifying wins in recent memory for TCU basketball.
Thorns’ 32 points and eight three pointers vs. nationally ranked UNLV put an exclamation point on what was an impressive two years in Fort Worth for Thorns.
“Things happen for a reason. The sky is the limit for everyone,” Thorns said Wednesday in an interview. “I believe in that. It showed that if you put in the hard work, it shows up on the court, and I hope that game opened a lot of scouts’ eyes.”
Having graduated from TCU, Thorns now turns to the next chapter in his life which will be professional basketball. In preparation for the NBA draft, the last few months have been a whirlwind for the Las Vegas native.
“Everything has been going well. It is a lot of travel between Vegas and LA. I have been playing in the Drew League in California. I have been working out at Impact [Basketball Training] with a lot of other NBA prospects,” Thorns said.
“I’m grinding. Tryin’ to get a job,” Thorns continued.
Impact Basketball Training in Las Vegas has become one of the most recognized training programs for both NBA and college players. Furthermore, the Drew League pits NBA prospects against other NBA prospects and players.
Thorns plays on Team C.O.A whose record is currently 3-2.
On Tuesday, Thorns had his first workout with an NBA team, working out for the Denver Nuggets.
“I shot well, and I got great feedback from Denver,” Thorns said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes this draft. I showed people that I can really shoot the ball and also make good decisions.”
“I had a workout with Golden State that got pushed back, so I will work out with them,” Thorns noted. “This weekend maybe Chicago. I’m expecting more calls.”
Thorns who averaged 13.5 points and shot 40% from three-point range said he feels teams just need to see him play.
“I think teams just need to see me. I think teams have seen that I can play ball, but people forget that I played in the ACC as well. I have against the Ty Lawson’s. I played against Sean Singletary and Tyrese Rice. Those are top ACC guards,” Thorns explained. “Some of those guys aren’t even in the NBA and I felt like they certainly had that [potential].”
Thorns finished fourth in the nation in assists his junior season, and after being named a Bob Cousy award (nation’s best point guard) finalist, he returned his senior season and led TCU in scoring.
“I can defend. I can score the ball as well as make plays. I showed that at TCU,” he continued. “One year I was fourth in the country in assists and the next year I led my team in scoring as well as assisting. I think I can show these guys that I will knock down that open shot.”
For many players, preparation for the draft requires a different mindset. All NBA prospects have experienced great success in their careers with often great sacrifices coming along the way.
Gone is the notion of team and in comes the notion of self. Each player must make their own success and fight for their own career.
“You have to focus. This is a grind. You don’t have anybody on you like [they] were in college. There are no babysitters,” said Thorns. “You succeed if you have determination and heart. If you have confidence, I don’t believe anybody can stop you.”
Thorns also wanted to thank the entire TCU coaching staff for giving him a second opportunity after his transfer from Virginia Tech.
“Coach Christian got my confidence back. He told me that I was one of the best...Play through everything but in a composed manner,” Thorns explained.
“He also put me in a lot of ball screens which is basically the NBA game.”
“Coach Wu, Coach Evans, Coach Brown. All of those guys were a big help for me,” Thorns finished.
Thorns teammate J.R. Cadot is also preparing for the NBA draft and working out with NBA teams. Cadot has workouts set up with the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets.
Thorns is represented by Brian Luby of McNeil Sports Group.