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.