Welcome to Crossroads Basketball
Time flies when you’re having fun. I seems like it was yesterday when my friend Maureen Hagan contacted me and asked if I would work with a group of local girls at Sussex County College. Assuming that this would just be a workout I had no idea that I would not only coach that same group of girls the next year, but ten years later would be working with hundreds of kids all over the state.
I started Crossroads Basketball to help kids get better. It wasn’t about becoming a millionaire, or getting trophies. We wanted to make sure that all our kids from the last kid on the bench to the leading scorer were prepared for whatever life threw at them on or off the court. Anyone can show kids how to shoot a jump shot but it’s rare to have a program that teaches what being a good teammate is about, or how to push past your own limitations. I came up with the name Crossroads Basketball because it brought me back to the injury that ended my playing career. I had a choice. I could sulk or fight. I chose to fight, and that’s what I wanted to pass on to the next generation. I’ve been fortunate to have amazing people in our program. From my wife Melissa who was my first assistant coach and does everything from our website to registration, to my two right hand guys Vinny and Randy who not only played for me at Sussex County College but have been coaching for me since the beginning.
Our motto has always been we want the kids that want us. We don’t travel to games recruiting; we don’t beg kids to stay in our program that want to try something different. We help whoever wants to be helped. With that being said I can honestly say we have been blessed with some of the most amazing people I could ask for. Yes we have had some great players. We’ve sent over 70 kids to play in college, and currently have two professional players in our program but that pales in comparison to the young men and women we’ve been honored to watch grow into adults. From police officers, teachers, coaches, and doctors our kids are making an impact long after their playing careers. Most of them return and give back to our program by coaching for us or doing clinics. They set the example for the players that are up next. I would like to personally thank all the amazing players and parents for being such an integral part of our program. For your volunteer work at tournaments, to your help with fundraisers, to Melissa’s baby shower we love you all.
My goal is for our little ones Bryce & Niya to wear a Crossroads Basketball uniform one day, and with all of you in our corner I know I’ll see that happen.
About Cornell Thomas, Owner
Cornell Thomas was one week 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. Fifteen years ago he was hired as the head mens basketball coach at Sussex County Community College.
During his tenure at SCCC Cornell helped the Skylanders reach the conference finals for the first time in the history of the school. The Skylanders have gotten past the first round of the playoffs in 3 of his six seasons at the helm and have set school records for most win’s in a season (20) longest winning streak (9) and Cornell has the most wins in school history. Cornell has helped develop over 8 all conference players at SCCC and a two time All-American and region MVP.
Cornell’s 2005 team was also a recipient of the coveted Sam Shoenfeld Sportsmanship award, becoming the first two year school since it’s incipience to win the award, past winners included Harvard, Rutgers, and Princeton. After the 2008-2009 season Cornell became an assistant at national powerhouse Blair Academy, under coach Joe Mantegna. Blair Academy boy’s program has had over 60 division 1 players, and four players from the program to play in the NBA.
Cornell spent 7 years as an assistant at Blair helping the bucs win two state, and three conference championships. Cornell started Crossroads Basketball back in 2004 to help develop players both on and off the court. For the past 15 years Crossroads Basketball has placed over 60 kids in college, and has developed 3 professional players.
Eight years ago Cornell began sharing his story all over the world as a motivational speaker, and multi-title author.