By Robert Wilson
Terry senior guard Avery Thomas Jr. is having a terrific senior season like his father Avery Thomas Sr. had when he played at Forest Hill High three decades ago.
But the younger Thomas is trying to lead his team to something his dad didn’t do – win a state championship – and Avery Jr. showed how he could lead the way last week.
The 6-foot-7 Avery Jr. averaged 22.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots and 1.3 assists and led Terry to three MHSAA Class 6A, Region 3 wins last week.
For his outstanding performance, Thomas has been named the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Thomas had 25 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots in a 61-46 victory over West Jones, had a career-high 32 points and nine rebounds in a 64-33 victory over Jim Hill and had 11 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 2 steals in a 59-53 victory over Hattiesburg, handing Hattiesburg its first district loss and only third loss of the season.
Thomas is averaging 18 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.1 steals and 1 blocked shot and led Terry to a 19-7 overall record and 9-1 in region play this season.
“Avery checks every box on the stat sheet night in and night out,” second-year Terry coach Chris Parker said. “Even more important than his scoring ability is his relentless pursuit of every rebound that comes off, and his willingness to make the right pass.”
Thomas averaged 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1.5 blocked shots and helped Terry to a 22-9 record and the MHSAA Class 6A quarterfinals last season as a junior.
Thomas has Division I offers from Southern Miss, Mississippi Valley, Arkansas Pine Bluff and Southern University.
Avery Sr. was a first team All-Metro guard for Forest Hill and averaged 21.8 points and led them to the MHSAA Class 5A state semifinals as a senior in 1990-91 and was on one of the best All Metro teams in history with former NBA players and high school All-Americans Othello Harrington and Ronnie Henderson of Murrah. Avery Sr. also went on to start at Southern Miss.
Thomas is the son of Avery Sr. and Talbertcu Thomas. Talbertcu played basketball and volleyball at Jim Hill High and played one year of volleyball at Jackson State and graduated from Southern Miss. Avery Jr. has one sister, Taiveri, who was a cheerleader and ran track at Terry and is a freshman at Alcorn State.
Thomas’ grandfather, Albert Jefferies, played defensive tackle at Holly Springs High, Northwest Mississippi Community College and Jackson State and was on the preseason roster for the Kansas Chiefs in 1979 and 1980 and the Atlanta Falcons in 1981. Thomas’ first cousin is Zachary Pendleton, who played wide receiver at Forest Hill and Jackson State and played in the arena league for several years.
Mississippi Scoreboard selects a boys basketball player from Hinds, Madison, or Rankin counties each week. Coaches can nominate a player by text or call to Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276.
Previous Players of the Week
Week One: Mike Williams, Jackson Academy
Week Two: Dylan Rowe, Madison Central
Week Three: Eric Paymon, Raymond
Week Four: Ashton Magee, MRA
Week Five: Morris Hammond, Ridgeland
Week Six: Michael Wallace, McLaurin
Week Seven: Mason Williams, Jackson Academy