Ex-Valley star Thorns will play basketball at Virginia Tech

The recruiting process took longer than Valley’s Hank Thorns could have imagined.

But in the end, his patience was rewarded with a chance to play basketball in one of the nation’s top conferences.

Thorns, a 5-foot-9-inch point guard, signed Wednesday to play at Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“I never thought it would take this long,” said Thorns, a first-team all-state selection as a junior and senior. “But it’s cool that I’ve been patient. I feel like I’m getting the publicity that I deserve.”

Thorns averaged 27.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists as a senior, but his lack of size might have contributed to the long wait.

Valley coach Brian Farnsworth said Thorns had offers from schools in smaller conferences but decided to wait for a better opportunity.

“He knew how good he was and he wasn’t ready to settle,” Farnsworth said. “He’s a confident kid, and he knew where he should be.

“If he would have been 6-foot, I think every school would have been here waiting for him.”

Thorns also visited Old Dominion, New Hampshire and Virginia. He said Kentucky wanted him to visit before making an offer, but he decided that the Virginia Tech opportunity was too good.

“They’re an up-and-coming program,” Thorns said. “They have a top-20 recruiting class in the nation. It’s a great place to be, a great atmosphere.”

Thorns said he’s excited to play in the rugged ACC.

“It’s a real big-time conference,” Thorns said.

ADD SIGNINGS — Several other area athletes have made their college choices official. Thorns’ teammate at Valley, Alonzo Brandon, has signed with Arizona Western College, a two-year school in Yuma, Ariz.

Palo Verde softball center fielder Cherish Allen-Jones has signed with Division II Montana State-Billings.

Two Shadow Ridge boys volleyball players have made their choices. Setter Josh Shea has signed with Division II Lees-McRae University in North Carolina, and middle blocker Elvin Bower has committed to Division III Carthage College in Wisconsin.

Two Mountain View athletes have signed with NAIA Evangel University in Missouri.

Robert Hernandez will play football for the Crusaders, and Kaitlin Glover will join the softball team.

CLASS 1A HONORS — Calvary Chapel freshman Cory Welch, who helped the Lions win the state baseball title, was named the Class 1A South League co-Most Valuable Player by the league’s coaches.

Laughlin’s Jeff Fermon, who helped the Cougars to the state title in 2006, shared the MVP award.

Laughlin’s Tony Petrik was named Coach of the Year.

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