The Results Will Show In the Game and Carry on to Life: Bryant Thomas and his Basketball Coaching Journey

The Results Will Show In the Game and Carry on to Life: Bryant Thomas and his Basketball Coaching Journey
Coach Bryant Thomas with the St. Anne-Pacelli High School girls' basketball championship during their win.

By Micahya Costen

Columbus native Bryant Thomas developed a love for basketball at age eight, inspired by his uncle. He initially played on an undefeated team, but when his father placed him on a less successful team, Thomas had to dig deeper to realize his full potential.

"My dad took me off that team and put me on one of the worst teams and I was mad," Thomas said. "But, I didn't understand it was helping me become a leader... That's what gave me the passion of helping people when it comes to player development. And that's been my passion. I have a love for it."

In high school and college, Thomas played point guard and emerged as a leader on the court. This sparked his interest in coaching after graduation. After gaining experience in boys' basketball training, he coached for about 13 years before switching to girls' basketball.

"I think looking at myself and teammates that I played with, I understood some things which we would have learned earlier in our basketball careers," Thomas said. "Just having a conversation with other guys and other people that play the game and trying to learn where we can help others be better, help them succeed. Basketball was the outlet for me. It was an outreach program for me. That's what attracted me."

Thomas now has a fourth-grade daughter who plays travel basketball in the summer. In addition to running businesses and teaching, he coaches her team, the middle school girls' basketball team, a rec youth league, and the St. Anne-Pacelli High School girls' basketball team, which won its first championship this year.

Along with a tight schedule, some of the girls also had to balance flag football and basketball during the pre-season and conditioning period. During this past season, Thomas explained how the team was on the road a lot with around 3000 miles on the bus traveling.

"It was a tough challenge. I was helping us prepare for getting to the playoffs, passing where we had went the year before in the elite eight. And our schedule was planned this way to help us get past the lead eight and have a shot to win it," Thomas said.

Catching up from a late start in the season, the team played various games throughout the week through January. Injuries occurred through this time, which was an obstacle the team had to face, but Thomas explained how that made the win even more special to watch and be a part of.

Striving to go for a repeat next year, Thomas mapped out next season's road going into his third year coaching the team, and what they have to do to make it happen.

"I think we figured out the formula it's being patient we know it's a long road, we know what it takes we have to keep the kids committed," Thomas said. "...make sure that we can stay healthy and just continue to get better as a program and I can get better as a coach to help them."

Along with staying healthy, Thomas said he learned to schedule time off for the players every once in a while has helped tremendously as well.

Thomas explained that coaching in Columbus in general has been a rewarding experience he hopes to grow with the community and help the youth learn life lessons through the sport as they come into their own.

"When it comes to sports when it comes to player development, don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong. Because that's the part that's going to help you get better," Thomas said. "You want to master that skill set and continue to get better at it. That's one of my favorite things I love to tell the kids. It's going to get boring, but the results will show in the game. And if you understand that, it'll carry over into life.

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