Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA — Thomas Sorber didn’t go to prom this spring.
The 6-foot-9 big man did get a taste of what the pre-festivity picture taking might have been like on Wednesday at Archbishop Ryan High School.
Sorber posed for picture after picture with family, friends, teammates and coaches in Ryan’s gym after making an announcement many were looking forward to — his commitment to Georgetown.
“I made a lot of people proud,” said Sorber, a rising senior at Ryan. “Coming in my freshman year people didn’t think I’d be in the position that I’m in right now. As of right now, I think I’ve made a lot of people proud and I’m going to continue to make more people proud of me.”
.@ARyanbasketball 2024 forward Thomas Sorber (@ThomasSorber_) is headed to Georgetown. pic.twitter.com/wWPb4bCbY4— Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue) May 17, 2023
Archbishop Ryan 2024 big man Thomas Sorber committed to Georgetown on Wednesday. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Sorber chose the Hoyas over Villanova, Providence and Miami (Fla.), noting he could tell something was special when he took his official visit to D.C. from April 17-19.
“As soon as I stepped on that campus, it felt like home,” Sorber said. “Once a place feels like home, you never want to leave it. That’s how it felt to me and to my parents as well."
Sorber is a consensus Top 100 player in the Class of 2024. He joins Massachusetts shooting guard Kayvaun Mulready as the second four-star in the Hoyas’ 2024 class for new head coach Ed Cooley.
Cooley, who Sorber FaceTimed between picture taking, took over as Georgetown’s head coach on March 22 after 12 seasons at Big East rival Providence. He and his staff have been in touch with Sorber and Ryan coach Joe Zeglinski since the Philly Live periods last June when assistant Jeff Battle reached out.
When Cooley took the Georgetown job, he texted Sorber, his mother, his brother, his sister and others who were close to him that he wanted the Ryan big man to come to Georgetown. He got his wish Wednesday.
“I think it’s a great fit for Thomas,” Zeglinski said. “With Coach Cooley, he was at Providence recruiting him hard and he hasn’t stopped. The way he said he was going to use Thomas, I couldn’t see him going to a better place or a better coaching staff. I’m just really excited for him and his family. He deserves everything that’s coming to him.”
Sorber noted the fact that Cooley brought Battle and the rest of his staff (unofficial right now) with him to Georgetown stood out to him.
“It’s loyalty with them because Coach Cooley brought his whole coaching staff with him,” Sorber said. “That’s how you know you can trust him and hopefully he can make the right decisions for you as well.”
.@ARyanbasketball's Thomas Sorber (@ThomasSorber_) went off for 29 points and 17 rebounds in a win over Cardinal O'Hara. pic.twitter.com/Cjc5vhTO4a— Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue) January 17, 2023
Sorber averaged 17.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg and 4.4 bpg, while shooting 61.3 percent from the floor this past season to earn first team All-Philadelphia Catholic League and PIAA Class 5A All-State honors for the second straight season.
He’s a dominant player inside on both ends with athleticism, touch and feel and improving range that should give him a chance to continue to grow.
“He’s special with his hands, his feet, his touch from the inside and his ability to bring them outside,” Zeglinski said. “His defensive timing, I haven’t seen a better shot blocker at the high school level. His body continues to mature and lean out and I think the sky’s the limit for him. I think he’s just touching the surface of how good he can be.”
The Friars certainly like his game as well.
“(Cooley) said he likes the way that I play, likes the way that I’m an underrated passer,” Sorber said. “I can do a little bit of everything and I’m a dog, who likes to work.”
Georgetown hasn’t been a contender in the BIg East in recent history. The Hoyas won the conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2020-21, but they haven’t reached the big dance otherwise since 2014-15 and had a combined 2-37 record in the Big East during the last two seasons.
There’s a rich history at Georgetown, however, which includes a Patrick Ewing-led national championship team in 1984. It’s a history that includes a long list of talented big men like Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Roy Hibbert.
Sorber hopes to help leave his mark and restore the Hoyas back to glory.
“That’s something that I had to take pride in a little bit, it’s a big man school, but it’s also a school that wants to win a chip, a national championship, so I think I can help make that happen,” Sorber said.
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