Every morning, Hank Thorns looks in the mirror and tells himself that he is the best point guard in the country.
“I am a big guy on confidence,” Thorns said. “A lot of people might say you’re cocky if you are confident, but nobody loves yourself more than you.”
Thorns, a senior communication studies major, stressed self-motivation and confidence both on and off the basketball court.
His positive mentality helped him create one of the most successful seasons in history for a TCU point guard. It also prepared him to play 32 of 33 games after his redshirt season.
But Thorns’ career began before he arrived at TCU. He played both basketball and football at Las Vegas Valley High School.
It was there that he received all-state honors on the football team, playing wide receiver, quarterback and defensive back. Thorns was named Player of the Year as a junior and the Las Vegas Review-Journal Athlete of the Year as a senior.
Thorns’ father was excited that his son was following in his footsteps. Though his uncle and father played in the Canadian Football League, Thorns knew he wanted to play basketball in college.
“The basketball offers started to come in, and I was happy,” Thorns said. “I knew I had to go with my heart.”
When it came down to choosing a university, Thorns did not initially decide to be a Horned Frog. In fact, Thorns said TCU was not even on his radar.
Thorns arrived at Virginia Tech based on the opportunity to fill an open spot and start at guard.
Thorns began his college career with many achievements. He earned a university freshman record with 113 assists and totaled 185 assists during his career at Virginia Tech.
He started off his basketball career strong with a personal freshman-season high of 15 points. Thorns ranked third on the team in assists and sixth in steals his second year.
Although his career was flourishing at Virginia Tech, Thorns said he did not feel things were going his way. After discussing it with his family and friends, he came to the conclusion that the best thing to do was to leave.
“It was based off playing basketball, and it was hard to walk around with a smile every day when I wasn’t happy,” Thorns said.
Thorns’ main focus was playing close to home and getting the opportunity to play against his father’s alma mater, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Playing at TCU gave him the chance to travel home four times per year.
“He has really been the one who has driven this train over the last couple years,” junior forward Garlon Green said.”He has shown me how to be a better leader and everyone on the team to be better players.”
Thorns’ long-term goal was to play professionally, whether overseas or in the NBA.
“Right now, the goal is all about hard work, winning championships, winning games and turning this program around,” Thorns said.
Although he had high hopes for his professional career, his backup plan was sports broadcasting. Thorns said he was good at talking to people.
Along with pursuing his career, Thorns stressed the importance of giving back to the community. Through his organization, Karing About Many Others, he has been able to give back by hosting basketball tournaments and supporting children with school supplies.
“My dad has taught me to always help people and give back,” Thorns said. “My whole family gives back when we can. Even if we don’t have it, we still give.”
This season marks the last one of Thorns’ college career.
“This is something I love to do, and the nine-to-five job doesn’t fit me,” Thorns said. “I play basketball, and I have a big heart for it.”