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Lincoln Park Guard Meleek Thomas Talks Pitt Visit, Jason Capel Connection



Over the past few days, Pitt has hosted several local prospects for visits, with Meleek Thomas (Lincoln Park), Royce Parham (North Hills) and Alier Maluk (Imani) making the trip to Oakland.

Thomas was the first to take the trip to campus, visiting on Monday. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard is entering his sophomore season at Lincoln Park after turning in a stellar freshman campaign in both high school ball and summer ball with New Heights Lightning out of New York. Ranked as the No. 11 player in the nation according to ESPN, Thomas is the highest-rated player to come out of Pittsburgh in years. And while he is certainly aware of his high ranking, he is staying hungry as ever as he enters his sophomore year.

“When you see the five stars by it, it’s a great feeling,” Thomas told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “It makes you feel like you earned it. I feel like I earned that. But at the same time, I’ve got a lot more to earn. That ranking doesn’t mean anything to me. If I wasn’t ranked anything and I would go pro, that’s all I am worried about.”

Thomas toured Pitt alongside Panthers’ assistant Jason Capel on Monday, checking out Pitt’s campus and facilities throughout the day.

“I’m on the campus a lot for games, like, I go down to Pitt games a lot in season, so I knew about the campus, I’d seen it,” he said. “But getting the actual feel of it, walking through it, and being on the actual campus for a long time, it was great. I had a good time.”

Capel has shown around most of the recruits that have visited this summer, including both of the other WPIAL targets this week as well.

“That’s my boy,” Thomas said about Capel. “If I need anything, I feel like I have that connection with him already. Like, Coach Jason, he already made that known to me. ‘If you need something, this is in your backyard.’ My relationship with him, I feel, is strong.”

Thomas currently holds three offers: Pitt, Kansas State, and St. John’s. The Panthers offered early, got him on campus early, and have developed a strong relationship right out of the gates. So the question remains: what would it mean for Thomas to stay home and commit to the Panthers?

“That would mean a lot to me and my family,” he said about potentially being a ‘hometown hero.’ “But I wouldn’t say anything about that now. I wouldn’t say that I am a hometown hero when I’ve got three years to decide.”

After his trip to Pitt, Thomas is also planning to drive out to State College this week and take an unofficial visit to Penn State on Aug. 4. But from there, he has not planned any visits, and is just going to take his game and his recruitment day by day.

“I’m going to wait it out,” he said about his overall recruitment timeline. “I want to see all of my options. I know I’ve got a lot of big things coming, a lot of big things ahead of me.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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