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November 10, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Anecdotes from Thomas’ and Gaddy’s AAU coach

When you write a story like today’s Washington men’s preview piece that takes a look at the bond of the three Tacoma-area guys Isaiah Thomas, Abdul Gaddy and Clarence Trent, you always compile more information from interviews and legwork than you need.
Here’s some a couple of stories about the Tacoma guys from AAU coach Gary Ward, who coaches the Northwest Panthers. Thomas and Gaddy played for Ward.
(On Thomas) “His dad worked at Boeing with me. That’s Isaiah’s dad. We call him Pit, but his name is Keith Thomas. And he used to work a lot of overtime. So Isaiah always hung out with me. He’d go to all the games with me. And he was so little, we were playing sixth grade kids and he was in fifth grade, he was so little you know how you look through the mirror, I could never see him.
“And he’d just sit there. His feet would be dangling over the seat. He was always so happy. And I’m like ‘Isaiah! Isaiah! Boy I told you sit in the middle so I can see you!’ Because I couldn’t see him. But he’s just always been a player. And Isaiah will tell you himself, he’s not the best kid to come out of Tacoma. There were kids better than him when he was coming up, but that goes back to the part where we didn’t know.
(On Gaddy) “I remember the first game I ever coached him. I’m an aggressive coach and I’m all over the place. I’m talking to him and he’s in the game. I pull him out and I go down to the end of the bench to talk to him and he’s sitting down there crying. And I’m like ‘Boy if you’re going to cry every time I tell you to do something, we ain’t going to make it. And he’s like, sorry coach.’
“And he straightened his face up and every since then he’s been a trooper. He’s always been a bright-eyed kid with a great personality. And a very low-key kid. He’s a wonderful person. He’s a better than he is a basketball player and he’s pretty special as a basketball player.

(On Trent)
“Clarence never played for me. He played for my buddy his name is Greg Greenhouse. My involvement is very little. Me and Clarence never worked out in the gym or anything like that. He played for his guardian, which is Trent Nettles. And he played for Greg Greenhouse and then he did a lot of other stuff around the country. He never played for me. I know him. We got a great relationship. I’m hoping I get a chance to work him out this summer and help him get better because right now he’s a 6-5 kid that don’t really have a position.
“Is he a two-guard? Is he a small forward? Is he a center? He’s an energy guy.”

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy

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