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Originally published Monday, May 5, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Men's Basketball | Isaiah Thomas ready to play for UW after passing ACT

The roster for the 2008-09 Washington Huskies came into clearer focus this weekend when Isaiah Thomas reported that he had received a qualifying...

Seattle Times staff reporter

The roster for the 2008-09 Washington Huskies came into clearer focus this weekend when Isaiah Thomas reported that he had received a qualifying score on the ACT.

"It's a big relief to get it off my shoulders," Thomas said Sunday.

The 5-foot-8 guard, formerly of Curtis High in Tacoma, is expected to be a key contributor for the Huskies next season. But he has had to travel a long road to overcome academic hurdles.

After committing to UW in the spring of 2006, he ended up not signing with the Huskies that fall because of issues with his grades. He instead enrolled at South Kent (Conn.) Prep School and spent two years there, delaying the start of his college career by a year.

Now, as long as he completes his classes at South Kent -- he said he expects to graduate June 1 -- he will be eligible to play for UW next year.

"It has worked out tremendously," Thomas said of his detour to South Kent.

Thomas averaged 31.2 points his last year at Curtis and broke nine state 4A tournament records, including most points in a game (51) in 2006.

Thomas said he found out his test score Friday after checking online. He was prepared to take the SAT again on Saturday if he hadn't gotten the score he needed.

Instead, he spent the weekend planning for his arrival at UW. He said he would return to Seattle immediately upon graduation from South Kent and enroll in a summer bridge program at Washington.

"I think I'll fit in real good at UW," he said. "The style of play, the up-and-down system, fits my game tremendously well."

Thomas is one of four members of UW's Class of 2008, which is rated 15th in the country by Scout.com. All four are expected to qualify academically. The others are guards Scott Suggs of Augusta, Mo., Elston Turner Jr., of Missouri City, Texas; and forward Tyreese Breshers of Los Angeles.

Note

• One of Thomas' first games as a Husky could come against defending national champion Kansas. Washington is scheduled to play in the 16-team CBE Classic next November, and reportedly is in the same bracket as the Jayhawks.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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