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Former Shaler basketball standout Thorpe prepared for final collegiate season

| Sunday, June 11, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

Former Shaler standout Geno Thorpe has had a basketball career that is grand in scale.

Basketball has taken him to three schools, which, if he drove from one to the other would cover 2,508 miles. Friday, Thorpe committed to Syracuse as a graduate transfer from South Florida.

Thorpe, a 6-foot-4 guard, played his first two seasons at Penn State. It's been an odyssey of sorts.

“This game has taken me so many places and gave me so many opportunities, sometimes I do feel like that,” said Thorpe, who scored 1,000 points at Shaler. “I'm happy with everything basketball has done for me. I'm happy about my journey.”

Thorpe, who earned a communication degree this month from USF, felt prepared for another move. He debated going to Europe to play professionally or transferring to another school.

“I was trying to figure out what the best situation was for me,” Thorpe said. “Going to Europe and playing overseas or doing another year in college.”

While playing with the Bulls last season, Thorpe led USF and finished seventh in the American Athletic Conference by averaging 15.1 points. Thorpe also finished second in the conference in free-throw percentage (84.6) and third in assists (4.6).

Everything went well for Thorpe personally during his one year with the Bulls. Team-wise, things weren't as solid. South Florida went 7-23 overall, including a 1-17 mark following the firing of coach Orlando Antigua in January.

“I just wanted to be there for my teammates and compete every night to give them the best chance possible to win,” Thorpe said.

Moving to play for the Orange will present a similar challenge.

Syracuse finished 19-15 last season and lost in the second round of the NIT. Playing for Orange coach Jim Boeheim was a major factor in the decision.

“After I graduated from South Florida, I was debating what I wanted to do as taking the next step in my career,” Thorpe said. “Coach Boeheim gave me the opportunity to come to Syracuse, and he was real straightforward with me. He gave me an opportunity and said I could be helpful to the team. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Thorpe's collegiate career has only one more season.

After all his life experiences, Thorpe is eager to show he put himself in the best position.

“I was a little bit more prepared. I felt like I knew what questions to ask and what I wanted from the school,” Thorpe said. “What I wanted was the best situation for me.”

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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