An incredibly coachable team player who gets things done is what most basketball coaches look for in an athlete, and those are the attributes that East coach Brent Chitty used when describing senior Thomas Myers.
The Myers family has left its mark on the East athletics program in recent years, with Thomas’ older sister Faith and older brother Rhett also being top-notch athletes for the Olympians. Faith just finished her collegiate career playing volleyball at Memphis, while Rhett was a three sport athlete for East who currently plays football at Air Force Academy.
Thomas is the third Myers sibling to come through East, and Chitty said his demeanor is in a class of its own when compared to his two older siblings.
“Thomas is just a real laid back dude … They (Faith and Rhett) were intense,” Chitty said. “Rhett focused, Faith focused; Thomas, he’s focused, but he’s chill … One thing I’ll say about Thomas is, he did it his way. He’s ultimate respectful.”
Thomas may be the most laid back sibling of the three, but he has certainly intensified his offensive production this season. He ended the regular season leading the team in 3-point percentage for the second consecutive year, but shot the ball at a higher volume this season.
Myers scored on 13 of 29 (45 percent) shots from behind the arc last year. He’s upped his 3-point attempts to 48 and increased his efficiency to just over 52 percent which is right at his team-high overall field goal percentage. He’s also increased last year’s 4.8 points per game to 8.7.
“I feel like my shot has gotten a lot better this season,” Myers said. “I’m getting a lot more opportunities to shoot the ball this year, so it’s been nice for me. It’s been relaxed, so I can just shoot and relax out there.”
Myers also leads the team in free-throw shooting at 90 percent, having missed only four of his 40 attempts. He’s made major strides in multiple areas of his game, but his contributions to the team go way beyond his productivity on the court.
Myers doesn’t take his responsibility as a senior leader lightly, and it shows by the way he interacts with his teammates, especially the younger athletes.
Freshman Tyler Boyer and sophomore Jackson Paradise raved about how Myers has helped them improve their game. Even fellow starter and junior Drew Johnson has praised Myers for his insightful feedback in various game situations.
“Thomas is really the kind of teammate that you would really want to play with,” Paradise said. “Every day at practice, he’ll go out, compete and give everything he has. In the locker room, he’s smiling, having fun, laughing and making basketball fun like the way it should be. Not just that, I had a class with him, and even in the classroom, he was an extremely hard worker and dedicated to his work outside of the classroom.”
Myers is the type of player who is focused on doing all of the little things right. Chitty’s only criticism of Myers is that he wishes he could get him to be more aggressive. The more aggressive he is the better the rest of the team responds, Chitty said.
Myers has been asserting himself more recently, having averaged more than 11 points a game and 2.5 made 3-pointers in the last four games to close the season, including a 20-point game that included four 3-pointers against Franklin Central.
East is going to need that type of production when it hosts Columbus North at 6 p.m. Friday in the semifinals of the East sectional.
“We feel confident going into the sectional,” Myers said. “As a team, we have to fine tune our turnovers. We have to keep our composure going into games and just play the way we do. We believe we can compete.”
Columbus East boys basketball sectional
6 p.m.: Columbus East (12-10) vs. Columbus North (14-10)
7:30 p.m.: East Central (14-9) vs. Bloomington South (24-2)
7 p.m.: Championship