Cam Thomas, Andre Curbelo lead ‘Iolani Classic All-Tourney Team

Oak Hill's Cam Thomas scored 30 points in the final of the 'Iolani Classic in 2019. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

There is a black mamba in the world of Cam Thomas.

He likes it that way. The 6-foot-4 senior was a workhorse in the ‘Iolani Prep Classic, relentlessly slashing to the bucket for layups, runners and free throws. Thomas’ 30 points, plus seven rebounds, led No. 14 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) to the school’s eighth tourney title with a 76-65 win over No. 15 Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah) on Saturday night.

“His favorite player is Kobe Bryant, I know that,” Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said.

Thomas shot 13-for-15 from the free-throw line, outscoring the Tigers there. Wasatch shot 8-for-10 at the charity stripe.

“Cam usually shoots between 12 and 13 free throws a game,” Smith noted. “He has a knack of getting fouled. When he gets to the rim, it’s hard to stop him.”

He scored 33 points in an opening-round win over Mid-Pacific. Then came a 31-point performance against Kalani in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he dropped 33 on Jefferson (Portland, Ore.), including 10-for-11 at the foul line. For the tournament, he scored 127 points, 31.8 per game.

Thomas may not have a thick physique, but he is, aptly, a Tiger when it comes to feasting on defenses. Studying Bryant is about inner spirit as much as skills.

“Me being a scorer, to be a great player, you’ve got to be hungry to win games. Constant killing. I never want to slow down and stop. I want to keep killing,” he said.

Not surprisingly, tournament officials named Thomas the tournament’s most valuable player. Andre Curbelo of Long Island Lutheran was named the tourney’s most outstanding player.

Thomas is more interested in the national championship.

“We’ve got a lot of heart. We come out thinking we can win every game. We’re not scared of no one. If you keep that mentality, we’re going to keep winning games,” he said. “We just want to make it to New York and finish first there. That’s more important to us, finishing first at GEICO Nationals.”

Curbelo is another show-stopper with scoring, passing, rebounding and defensive skills off the chart. The relentless point guard scored 24 in LuHI’s semifinal loss to Wasatch. In the third-place game, he poured in 26 points as the Crusaders routed Jefferson.

All-Tournament Team
MVP: Cam Thomas, Oak Hill
Most outstanding player: Andre Curbelo, Long Island Lutheran
Tino Atonio, Damien
Zheng Haonan, Tsinghua
Koren Johnson, Garfield
Tari Eason, Garfield
Brandon Chung, Kalani
Hayden Bayudan, Damien
Troy Hupstead, Mount Vernon
Zavier Riullano, Mount Vernon
Rahsool Diggins, Archbishop Wood
Jaylen Stinson, Archbishop Wood
Zed Key, Long Island Lutheran
Kacper Klaczek, Long Island Lutheran
Nate Rawlins-Kibonge, Jefferson
Lamar Washington, Jefferson
Caleb Lohner, Wasatch
Richard Isaacs Jr., Wasatch
Mike Saunders, Wasatch
K.K. Robinson, Oak Hill
Jamari Sibley, Oak Hill
Darius Maddox, Oak Hill


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