Monday, June 9, 2014

Moody, Thomas To Grow Yorktown's Hoops Seed With Edge Workouts

Keith Thomas and Jordan Moody were key pieces on the last Yorktown basketball team to earn a berth in the Section 1 championship. Bolstered by Moody's scoring engine and Thomas' multi-faceted role, accentuated by flashy passing and heavy production in the paint, the Huskers' spirited upset-bid of Mount Vernon fizzled in the waning minutes.

Moody, known for hellacious hops, a go-to step back and a feathery left handed jumper, etched his legacy an All-Section senior season at Yorktown.

Both players took different routes.

Moody played three seasons at Plattsburgh State and Thomas starred at Weschester Community College as a 23-year-old freshman this season.

He's set to embark on a Big East career at St. John's.

The former program poster boys will be back at the same Westchester County courts at which they were once staples, entrenched in countless sweat-drenched pickup games.

The 1-2 punch you may remember electrifying gyms across North County has shifted their summer focus to developing young and rising players with their workout regimen.

With a full slate of individual workouts, one-on-one and player development sessions, Moody and Thomas want to re-plant the basketball seed in lacrosse-obsessed Yorktown.

"It feels great to be able to teach kids what I've learned, especially in my hometown," said Moody, who was also a Division-I prospect as a long/triple jumper on Yorktown's track team.

"I've always wanted to someone to teach me how to stay ahead of the game but growing up in a lacrosse-crazed town, no one really helped me with my game except my Dad. So, it feels great to be able to help some of the young talent in Yorktown that need it."

The Huskers lived up to the identity of a town consumed by around-the-clock lacrosse focus. Yorktown captured the New York State Class B championship in a 10-9 thriller over Jamesville-DeWitt this weekend.

Having recently hired Kevin Downes, a defensive disciplinarian who won four straight league titles at next door Mahopac the last four seasons, the program hopes to generate the basketball buzz that's been lacking. Aside from the rowdy CROP fan base, which packs the home gym, there hasn't been much hoops excitement emanating from the gym at 2727 Crompond Road.

Moody, who averaged 10 points as a sophomore and 11 points as a junior at Plattsburgh, is one of the best guards in Yorktown history.

 The proof is in the production. There is six 25+ point games as a junior, including a 24-point performance in a showdown against Daequan Brickhouse and Peekskill. There's a loud switch-handed dunk in traffic against Lakeland,  which had Shrub Oak feeling more like Rucker Park.

Thomas, who played just one year at Yorktown high, became the Region XV JUCO Player of the Year at Westchester Community this season.

 Thomas averaged 15.3 points and a NCJAA-best 15.7 rebounds, helping lift Westchester out of obscurity and into its first national tournament berth since 1996 and earning a scholarship to St. John's University.

It was Thomas who helped Moody's game grow back in high school. Thomas constantly urged him to outwork the rest and helped him discover a pair of springy hops.

"Keith is one of the hardest working people I know," Moody explained.

"He taught me how to dunk during the summer before my junior year (of high school) and I've stayed on his workouts to stay above the rim ever since. He also got me to be incredibly stronger without even using weights."

Thomas had his own unique workouts that he implemented during the summer of 2009, before Moody assumed the go-to role for Steve Veteri-coached Yorktown. Without that work load and consistency, Moody said his career might have been different.

Now, Moody wants to pass the torch to the younger generation. The instruction and player development, Moody hopes, will ensure they won't have to go throughout the same coach-less summers that he did.

Six years later, Moody and Thomas are still innate gym rats that the community can feed off of.

"We did spend a lot of time at FDR Park, working out on the pull-up bars and doing push-ups to help build endurance as well as strength," Moody recalled.

"After that, we would go to any court and do dribbling and shooting drills."

The aggressive, constant one-on-one battles featured several stops in action. We're not talking water breaks. Thomas would point out visible weaknesses and implore Moody to improve on them on the ensuing possession.

"We would build IQ, stamina, and teach each other as well as learn new things along the way," Moody said.

In a modern day world where inexperienced AAU coaches who never earned a lick of playing time have their own camps and clinics, Moody and Thomas seem like the ideal package to enhance youngsters' game.

To learn more about Thomas and Moody's workouts, kindly email