College Sports

Charlotte 49ers add nation’s top shot-blocker in South Meck’s Bryant Thomas

South Mecklenburg High’s Bryant Thomas, right, led the nation in blocked shots last season. Tuesday, he signed a college scholarship to play for the Charlotte 49ers.
South Mecklenburg High’s Bryant Thomas, right, led the nation in blocked shots last season. Tuesday, he signed a college scholarship to play for the Charlotte 49ers. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte 49ers pursuit for more help in the front court continued Tuesday, when coach Mark Price announced the signing of South Mecklenburg’s Bryant Thomas, a 6-foot-8 forward.

After the 49ers finished last season tied for 342nd out of 347 Division I teams in rebounding margin, Thomas becomes the fourth player in Charlotte’s 2017 class who is 6-8 or taller, joining center Jailan Haslem, forward DeVarte Watson and forward Milos Supica.

As a senior at South Mecklenburg, Thomas averaged a double-double with 17.9 points and 10 rebounds. He also averaged 7.7 blocks, which led the nation, according to MaxPreps.

“We’re extremely excited to add Bryant Thomas to the Charlotte basketball family,” said Price in a statement. “We think Bryant’s best days in basketball are ahead of him. He has a lot of potential and upside, as the top shot blocker in the nation last year, and has the potential to grow and get better and better.”

Thomas’ performance as a senior helped him receive Southwestern 4A all-conference honors and a spot on the Observer’s All-Mecklenburg first team, signifying him as a top-five player in the county.

Thomas registered 17 double-doubles last season and six triple-doubles during his high school career. He’s grown 7 inches over the past three years.

“It is exciting to get to play for my hometown team and for Coach Price,” Thomas said. “It’ll be great to have my family and friends to be able to come watch me play.”

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