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Thornwell honored twice at Gamecock Gala

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Former LHS hoops star

By Robert Howey

 

Former Lancaster High School basketball star Sindarius Thornwell was among the honorees at the recent Gamecock Gala.

The event, held at the Colonial Life Arena, honored University of South Carolina student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2013-14 campaign.

Thornwell received two honors during the evening, reaping the USC men’s basketball MVP as well as the New Student-Athlete of the Year.

Thornwell, in his freshman season, averaged 13.4 points and 4.1 rebounds a game for USC which finished 14-20 under second-year coach Frank Martin. Thornwell averaged 15.6 points a game in Southeast Conference games.

For the season, he had 101 assists, 21 blocks and 40 steals.

He is South Carolina’s top returning scorer for the 2014-15 basketball season.

Thornwell passed Gamecock great BJ McKie for the most 20-point games in SEC play for a freshman in South Carolina history with his sixth as he posted 22 points in a 74-62 win at Mississippi State on March 8. The freshman guard also tied his season high in rebounds in the game with 11, as he posted his second double-double of the year.

Thornwell was a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree and was named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for the week of Feb. 18 after leading the Gamecocks to a one-point win over Alabama in which he scored, or assisted on 15 of the team’s final 17 points.

Thornwell, a Lancaster native, played three seasons of basketball at Lancaster High School under coach Ricardo Priester and Jerron Cauthen before completing his final season of high school basketball at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

As a junior at LHS, Thornwell paced the Bruins to a 24-4 record and a second straight appearance in the Class AAAA Upper State semifinals.

Thornwell, a four-star prospect and ranked No. 26 in the class of 2013 by CBSSports.com, averaged 26 points, nine rebounds, six assists and 1.5 blocked shots a game as a junior.

The Lancaster News Player of the Year, Thornwell set the LHS single-game scoring record with 47 points in a road win over Chester High School in January of 2012. Thornwell’s 47 points snapped the old mark of 44 held by Shot Hood.

He was also named the Class AAAA Player of the Year and the Region III-AAAA Player of the Year.

In his sophomore season, Thornwell averaged 20 points and eight rebounds for the Bruins, who were 20-7 and advanced to the Class AAAA Upstate semifinals.

In his senior season, Thornwell sparked Oak Hill Academy to a 33-5 record.

A four-star prospect, according to ESPN.com, he was the top-rated player in South Carolina  and was ranked as the No. 39 overall prospect by ESPN.com.

Thornwell is the first Lancaster native to play men’s basketball at USC since the  late Lee Collins, who played for the Gamecocks from 1953-56.

 During that time, Collins scored 1,250 points and had 1,159 rebounds. He averaged 18.2 points per game during his final season with the Gamecocks in the 1956 campaign.