At Crossroads Basketball we take our coaching selection very seriously. We make sure that not only do our coaches have knowledge of the game, but also a passion for teaching it. Our coaching staff has a combination of college players, college coaches, high school coaches, travel coaches, and even some players that are currently playing professionally. We make sure that the coaches we select can maintain the excellence of our program at every level
Cornell Thomas, Director
Crossroads Basketball was started 6 years ago by Cornell Thomas. Cornell was two weeks away from playing professional basketball in Portugal when he suffered a career ending injury. Soon after the injury Cornell decided to devote his life to coaching the game of basketball. Six years ago he was hired to be the head men’s basketball coach at Sussex County College.
During his tenure at SCCC Cornell helped the Skylanders reach the conference finals for the first time in the history of the school, eventually losing by six points. The Skylanders have gotten past the first round of the playoffs in 3 of his six seasons and have set school records for most win’s in a season (20) longest winning streak (9) and Cornell currently has the most win’s of any coach in school history.
One of the biggest accolades of his career happened in his second year at SCCC when his team won the coveted Sam Shoenfeld Sportsmanship award. SCCC became the first two year school since its incipience to win the award. The award is given to an institution for the best sportsmanship on the court, and chosen by the referees. Past winners were Harvard, Rutgers, and Princeton.
Cornell has helped develop over 6 all conference players at SCCC and a two time All-American and region MVP. Around the same time he was hired at SCCC he started training kids. Cornell currently is an assistant coach under Joe Mantegna at Blair Academy. Blair Academy has produced over 40 division one players throughout Coach Mantegna’s tenure and 3 current NBA players. (Luol Deng/Charlie Villenueva and Royal Ivey) Coach Mantegna is very well known in the state of NJ for his basketball knowledge, and for Cornell it’s an opportunity to work with Division 1 players on a daily basis and be mentored by one of the premier coaches in the country.
Cornell didn’t start playing basketball until his junior year in high school and spent hours and hours each day trying to get himself better. That determination and work ethic is what helped him reach one of his basketball goals which was to get a full scholarship to play in college, despite sitting JV as a junior in high school. Those qualities are the same ones that he saw in his first client Laura Ahern. She was a standout forward for Roxbury high school that was always in the gym trying to improve her game. After a brief introduction Cornell began training Laura almost every day. After her senior year of high school she received a full scholarship to play at Division 1 Wagner College. Through word of mouth his more clients began to come, and now he has worked with hundreds of players through his individual sessions, summer camps, and clinics. Cornell has trained players on almost every level of basketball from beginners to semi professional players. Cornell and his staff have helped players not only get scholarships to play college basketball but also ones that just want to make their high school or recreational teams.
The goal at Crossroads Basketball will and always have been to help players reach the next level. That level is up to the player. We try to teach our clients that there’s no limit to where they can go if they put in hard work, determination, and have the right attitude.
At Crossroads Basketball, players learn not only what it takes to be successful on the basketball court but also what it takes to be successful of it
Melissa Mitchell Thomas
Melissa was a first-team All Conference player for Centralia County College in Washington State, where she averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists per game. She went on to play at Minot State University where she averaged 11pts 8reb and 4asst per game while playing a pivotal role on a Minot State team that was nationally ranked two years in a row. Melissa has been part of the Crossroads family since its inception and helps out with the Sunday basketball clinics. Melissa has been an assistant for the Crossroads Basketball16U and 14U girls team for the past 6yrs. Melissa brings a lot of knowledge about not only the game of basketball but individual development to our staff.
Vinny was a player under Cornell Thomas in his first year as head coach at Sussex County Community College. Vinny was not only named team captain but also played a pivotal role in the team’s semi final run in their conference tournament. Vinny has been part of the Crossroads family for the past 7 years. Vinny works all of the summer basketball camps, clinics, and helps with group and individual instruction. Vinny has been coaching the 15U girl’s team for the past 7 years and also coaches at Lafayette Middle School. Vinny recently received the assistant coaching job at his Alma matter. (Sussex County Community College) Vinny’s love of the game and work ethic has not only helped him as a player but also as a trainer, coach, and now newly appointed Girls Director of Basketball Operations at Crossroads Basketball.
Randy played for Cornell during the 2005-2006 season. During that time Randy played a pivotal role on a team that had at that time the second most wins in school history (14) and for a team that reached the semi finals before losing to the eventual conference champions. Randy is in his third season as head basketball coach at Sussex County Community College. As a player Randy was very cerebral and had an extremely high basketball I.Q. His work ethic is second to none and he is a pivotal part of our programs success. Randy recently has been promoted to: Boys Director of Basketball Operations at Crossroads Basketball.
Tom has been coaching the game of basketball for over 15 years, helping build and run the well known lady catz program out of Sussex County. Tom brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our program and is truly a “kids first” guy. Tom has helped develop hundreds of players in his years of coaching and last year coached our 13U program. Having an experienced coach like Tom has helped our program tremendously.
Paul has been instrumental in our growth as a basketball program. Paul has been helping develop players through his Hopatcong travel program as a coach for over 10 years. Paul has been a coach for Crossroads Basketball for the past 6 years. In that time Paul has worked with players on both the 11U level and the 15U level. Paul is currently the head JV girl’s coach at Pope John High School.
Matt is in his second season as a head coach for Crossroads Basketball. Matt has been coaching basketball in the Allamuchy area for over six years. Matt brings a passion and work ethic to the game that’s second to none. Matt is also a very successful certified personal trainer. We are fortunate to have him in our program for hopefully many more seasons to come.
Melissa is a former Crossroads Basketball player and second year coach for our program. Melissa played for Cornell for two years before taking her talent to Cabrini College in Pennsylvania. Melissa coached our 12U girls team last year and brings energy and enthusiasm to every practice and game. Melissa is a hard worker that will be a phenomenal coach for us in the future.
Chelsea is another Crossroads Basketball alum. Chelsea went from a seldom used player her freshman and sophomore year to one of the best post players in the state by her senior season. Chelsea received a full basketball scholarship to play at VCU in Richmond Virginia. Her very first season they made the NCAA tournament, and during her four years VCU also made the WNIT. Chelsea just finished up playing her first professional season in Switzerland where she averaged 18pts , 12reb, and 5 blocks per game. Chelsea has helped on and off with our programs for years and we’re excited to have her as a coach full time this season.
Ryan is what we call a Crossroads Basketball veteran. Ryan has been attending our clinics since he was in 5th grade. Ryan just finished up his second year playing at Sussex County College under Randy Jackson. Ryan is one of the hardest working kids ever to come through our program. Ryan is in his second year as a head coach, he coached our 12U boys last year. Ryan is one of our young up and coming coaches. He has a passion for helping kids, and is always trying to learn more about the game. We’re excited to have Ryan back for the second year.
Alex is in his second season as head coach at Crossroads Basketball. Alex has been a coach for over 15 years through travel/rec programs. Alex has a passion for helping players achieve their goals and the game of basketball. We’re excited to have someone as experienced as Alex back in our program again.
Jamie played a vital role on the best team in Sussex County College history. Jamie played for Cornell for two years at SCCC before graduating William Paterson College. Jamie has been a coach at Crossroads for the past two years. Jamie is one of our up and coming coaches and has a bright future ahead of him.
Scott is going into his second season as a Crossroads Basketball coach. Scott has been coaching the game of basketball for over fifteen years in the Sussex County area. Scott has been instrumental in helping various players get the most out of their potential. We’re excited to have someone with his credentials and experience on our staff.
Kyle was a starter for Hopatcong high school. After a year off Kyle came to Sussex County Community College, where he started at the point guard position both years for Cornell. Cornell calls Kyle, “The hardest worker player I’ve ever coached on the floor”. Kyle’s relentlessness and toughness helped SCCC to two quarter final appearances in the NJAC playoffs. Kyle will now be bringing his passion and enthusiasm for the game into the coaching arena. Kyle is a great motivator and will show kids how to play the game the right way.