Adams boys basketball enters season with new coach

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published December 11, 2019

 First-year Rochester Adams boys basketball coach Jaret Thomas runs through a drill with the Highlanders at a recent practice. Before taking the job at Adams, Thomas had spent time coaching as an assistant at Novi High, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian and Auburn Hills Avondale.

First-year Rochester Adams boys basketball coach Jaret Thomas runs through a drill with the Highlanders at a recent practice. Before taking the job at Adams, Thomas had spent time coaching as an assistant at Novi High, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian and Auburn Hills Avondale.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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ROCHESTER HILLS — As the Rochester Adams boys basketball team enters the season, it will do so with fresh faces both on the floor and perusing the bench. Jaret Thomas is the new face of Adams basketball, taking over for Brad Crighton, who stepped down after leading the Highlanders to an 18-4 campaign last season.

“While Jaret is a relative unknown, he has prepared many years for this opportunity, and the Adams administration is excited to have him lead our program,” Adams Athletic Director Jason Rapp said via email. “The team members responded well to his leadership style during the offseason and he is all in, bringing a high level of character, energy and vision to Adams athletics.”

Prior to taking the head job at Adams, Thomas spent time as an assistant under Brian Tass at Novi High, Dennis Hopkins at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian and Tim Morton at Auburn Hills Avondale. He was also a head coach at Oakland Christian and a junior varsity head coach at Avondale.

Despite all the different stops on the way to Adams, Thomas said getting to coach the Highlanders is a dream job.

“The players are great and they work incredibly hard,” he said. “We’ve really put a lot on them and they’ve handled it well. They put in all the time.”

As far as his coaching philosophy, Thomas said he wants to coach a balanced Adams team that plays together. He wants the Highlanders to be a team that shares the ball and plays to its strengths while minimizing the strengths of the opponent.

“He’s pretty relaxed, but at the same time, he lets us know what he wants,” junior Ben Chermside said of his new coach. “We’ve been improving every day by taking the advice that he gives us.”

While there are fresh faces throughout the coaching staff with Matt Falconer, Brandon Harris and Phil Richardson taking over as assistants, the team virtually has a brand-new roster. Only three players have varsity experience.

Two of those three players are Austin Ursuy and Peyton Prieskorn. Thomas said the Highlanders will lean heavily on the seniors — Ursuy for his ability to lead a young team, and Prieskorn for his ability to score and facilitate the offense.

“These guys in here, when it comes to playing basketball, are one team,” Thomas said. “They’re all super competitive, and if you see us practice you can’t tell who’s a sophomore and who’s a senior. We just get after it.”

Adams will be competing in the Oakland Activities Association White Division and was scheduled to take on Birmingham Seaholm in its season opener Dec. 10, after press time.

Regardless of the turnover for the Highlanders, their desire to win and constantly improve remains the same. Thomas said the players and coaching staff are still learning about one another, but everyone has the same goal.

“I just want us to become the best team that we can together and obviously to get as far as we can,” Chermside said. “Maybe win a regional and get to places that people don’t think we can.”

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