McCarty on the Way to Cornell

2016 QHS graduate Thurston McCarty talks with his former basketball coach Chris Coleman.

McCarty visits and poses for a photo with Panther Basketball coach Chris Coleman at the Quitman Shootout on Wednesday, June 20th.

Though he does seem taller, Thurston McCarty swears he is still his 2016 QHS graduating height of 6’7″. He says, “I’ve gotten that a lot. People keep asking me if I’ve gotten taller.” Otherwise, Thurston is the same, laid back, soft spoken guy we all remember. This past year’s recruitment to Cornell University, one of the top eight most prestigious colleges in the United States, doesn’t seem to have changed the college junior at all. So, it makes sense that McCarty is wanting to advise kids in his hometown of Quitman by saying,

“Be you. Don’t try to change you.”

Thurston stands with the 2016 Panther Basketball team.It’s not that two years of playing basketball and studying accounting at East Central Community College didn’t evolve McCarty. His play is more polished. The starting guard continued to be a consistent three point shooter while averaging 13 points per game at East Central, but the competition was obviously more fierce. McCarty excelled using the same tenacity which made him so great in Quitman.

It’s also what made him such a standout player to Coach Thompson at Cornell University.

Screenshot of a tweet by Randal E. Lee.

McCarty explains, “Cornell noticed me at a basketball camp last summer, and they were really watching me this past season. I’ve had other teams calling, but Cornell seemed the best fit. I went to visit in April, and I was impressed. The old buildings make it look like something out of a Harry Potter book, and it’s an Ivy League school. That means getting a degree from there helps to make sure I land a great job one day.”

Thurston McCarty graduated third in his class from QHS in 2016.

Ranked third in his graduating class at QHS and carrying a 3.5 GPA from ECCC, McCarty admits he wouldn’t turn down an NBA offer one day, but his studies remain equally important to him. While at Cornell he plans to pursue his degree in Applied Economics and Management through the SC Johnson College of Business. Though he plans to leave for Ithaca, NY in August, he wants to ensure that the students of Quitman School District understand something.

“Two years ago I didn’t know I would be here getting ready to go to an Ivy League school. It’s incredible, and you can do it as well.”