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Trojan guard hopes to continue to build off adversity

Submitted by Antonio Gayden on April 18, 2014 – 10:44 am2 Comments

J.T. Thomas photo courtesy UALR Sports

Adversity can be defined as experiencing difficulties or misfortune and it can either make you or break you. For J.T. Thomas, a redshirt junior guard for the University of Arkansas Little Rock, adversity doesn’t seem to faze him. It’s his faith that makes him believe he will make it through.

“More than anything I just trust in God, because I know whatever he puts me in, it’s for a good reason: to build my character and to build me mentally,” said Thomas. The 6-foot-1-inch guard from New Orleans has had his share of tough times.

Hurricane Katrina was a part of the adversity that Thomas faced. He played his first three years of high school basketball at Bishop Dunne Catholic School in Dallas because of the hurricane. He said his family was in the middle of their normal routine of a family vacation in the Hyatt and got stuck for 7 to 8 days. “The first night we had good food and a nice meal and for the next six days we were just eating bread and drinking a bottle of water,” said Thomas.  He said the whole experience allowed him to see life from a different perspective.

These experiences are inspiration to him. He wants to lead the way for other people who have a story to tell and to not give up when times are hard. The Edna Karr’s Student of the Year in 2009 said that his big brother James Thomas III is his go-to person when he needs it.

Thomas played in and started four games before a groin injury he suffered at Southern on Nov. 22 sidelined him for the remainder of the season.  Thomas said that he’s been here before (facing adversity) and it won’t stop him. He averaged 6.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.8 minutes per game before the injury. His goals are to continue getting healthy and to win a Sun Belt championship of his own (the Trojans won back in 2011).

Thomas said he has worked hard enough to be in that moment and to have fun during the good and hard times. The sarcastic guard is a people person who just loves to have fun and smile. His favorite artist to listen to right now is Daniel Heartless, a friend from back home in New Orleans. Attempting to come back better than ever, he said he’s just letting God guide him on his journey. A criminal justice major, Thomas says that his ultimate dream and goal after college is to stick around the sport of basketball, whether it be playing or coaching.