June 17, 2014 - by
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Seminole Fans-

I’d like to thank all the fans for supporting me throughout my career as a Seminole, I’ve enjoyed each and every moment out on the court.

The fans at the games were always encouraging, the team and I really fed off your energy. Most of all, I would like to thank my family for its continued support throughout my life. You were always there for me and I truly appreciate you all, especially my father Alford and my mother Philomenia and of course my three sisters.

Thanks to Coach Hamilton and the whole coaching staff for helping to make me the player I am today and preparing me for a career in the NBA. I was proud to be Coach Hamilton’s first recruit and I could not have made a better choice than coming to Florida State!

A special thanks goes out to my teammates, I am surely going to miss you guys on and off the court. I came back for my senior season so I could play with you guys for one more year and I have no regrets about returning. I will definitely be cheering for you guys next year and on.

I’d also like to thank Dave Hart and Kim Record for helping me out all the way through my time here at Florida State.

It’s sad to think that my career is over as a Seminole, but I have so many memories that will last a lifetime and I thank you all for being a part of them. Again, thanks to all of you involved, this was the greatest experience of my life and I am so proud to call myself a Seminole!

I’ll miss you all,

Al Thornton #12

All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton will answer questions approximately once a week during his senior season. Check out Al’s answers from Dec. 21 and keep sending your questions througout the holiday season.

Q: How does it feel that you know nobody in the nation can stop you? What are the kinds of things and who do you play for? Taurean Smith
A: I don’t look at myself as unstoppable. I just want to help our team win basketball games and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish our goals. I play for God, myself, my family, my friends and the people who support me in Perry and for the love of the game. Thanks for your support, Taurean.

Q; I’m anxiously awaiting the video clips on your website and reliving some of your more spectacular dunks. Frank
A: The video plays should be up on the website any day now. Keep checking back. Thanks for your support, Frank.

Q: In your opinion, which has been your favorite dunk so far in your FSU Career? Gabe McKee
A: Hands down, my favorite dunk so far was the one I recently had against Wisconsin. I shocked myself when I saw it on film. I found myself asking myself “did I just do that?’ Thanks for your support, Gabe.

Q: If you could play for any team in the NBA right now who would it be? Do you ever talk to Alexander Johnson since he left Florida State for the NBA? – Frank
A: I really don’t have a team that I would prefer playing for. It would be an honor for me to play for any team in the NBA. Yes, I talk to Alexander from time to time and he is doing well. Thanks for your support, Frank.

Q: Al, what has been your most memorable game at FSU and why? Cameron Ewing.
A: I have several favorite games. The first one that comes to mind is when we upset North Carolina during my freshman year and they had a number of first round NBA draft picks on their team. Thanks for your support, Cameron.

Q: Hey big Al, we have watched you go from an unknown recruit with virtually no “stars” or ranking to the best NBA prospect in the ACC and a national player of the year nominee. I know this is a broad question but what can you attribute your growth and success to? Maybe when you are in the NBA for four or five years you can think about writing a book about your journey. Maybe you could call it “Al’s Pal’s” or something like that. Ben
A: That’s a great question. I attribute my growth to my mother and father and the many things they passed on to me. I have really worked hard on my basketball skills and improving each day I go to practice and play in games. I also have a passion for the sport of basketball which helps me love the game and continue to want to improve. I also give a lot of credit to the coaches who have spent countless hours working with me to help me develop my skills and become a better player. I know that I have a long way to go and hopefully I can continue to get better each and every day. Maybe I will write a book someday. Thanks for your support, Ben.

Q: I love your website. I bet you didn’t know we support you all the way up here in Chicago via the Windy City Seminole Club. In this, your final season as a Seminole, if you could choose only one, which would you prefer: to win the ACC Championship or to make the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. If you can stay out of foul trouble, we can roll all year long. Mike
A: That’s also a great question. Both of the goals you ask about are very important to our team. If I was forced to choose one, I think I would choose playing in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament only because of the fact that it is the NCAA Tournament. If we are able to advance to the Sweet 16, we have to chance to advance further ahead and possible play for the NCAA Championship. Overall, I think both goals are very attainable — winning the ACC Championship and advancing as far as and past the Sweet 16. Thanks for the support, Mike.

Q: Keep up all the great work, Al. Not only from me but all of your supporters in Houston County and middle Georgia are glad to see you doing well. Keep representing on and off the court. Ed Gary.
A: What’s up Ed? Thanks for the support. I really appreciate that and I really am thankful to be able to represent Perry and the many people and friends who support me and my family. Thanks for the support, Ed

A: Al, I had the pleasure of sitting with you and your family during the Florida State basketball awards banquet last year. You and your family are super nice people. I also ran into you and Jerel after FAMU’s homecoming game. My question is if you had to choose one of your teammates to battle Cedric the Entertainer in a no-rules joke contest who would you send and why? Roland
A: I would have to send Jerel Allen. He has jokes all the time and keeps us laughing for days. He is very creative with his jokes and has us laughing all day long. He is a funny guy. Thanks for your support, Roland.

Q: What do you think will be your season high scoring total this season? Nephew Nerd
A: If you stay in touch, watch our games and click on to the website, you will know instantly. So stay tune or else you might miss one of our games. I will do whatever I have to do to help this team win and if that means score some nights, that’s what I am going to do. Thanks for your support, Nephew.

Q: I am pulling for you all the way from the Academic Support Office. Dr. Monk
A: Thanks for everything you do for me. You know you are my second mother (just thought I would let you know). Thanks for your support, Dr. Monk.

Q: How do the coaches decide which plays to run each game? Willie B
A: We have a great coaching staff that always put a great game plan in for each game. We have a lot guys on our team who are great players who can make plays whenever they want to. I feel like our coaches do a great job of getting the ball into the players’ hands who can do the greatest good at any specific moment. Each player on our team can step up and make plays whenever they are called upon to make plays. Thanks for your support, Willie B.

Check out Al’s answers from Dec. 14.

Q: How many hours did you practice to get to the level you are at now? — Cody Adams
A: Countless. I couldn’t even tell you. Many hours each day. I wasn’t even considered a “basketball player” as much as a was considered a “great athlete when I was growing up. I had to make myself a basketball player by making the gym my second home. Thanks for your support, Cody.

Q: I would love to see you selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Where do you see yourself five years from now? — Brad Davis
A: Hopefully I can work my way into being a first round selection in the draft after the season. If that dream comes true, I would like to set as one of my goals to be the NBA Rookie of the Year. I would also like to enjoy a long NBA career, because I truly love the game of basketball. Thanks for your support, Brad.

Q: I would like to say you are doing a great job this year. What was it like to beat Florida and have the Seminole fans rush the floor? — Lukas Burchett
A: It was great. I can tell you that it was a wonderful experience especially because the odds were against us winning the game. We had a great opportunity in front of us and we took advantage of the opportunity. The best part was that we got to celebrate with our fans right as the game ended. Thanks for the support, Lukas.

Check out Al’s answers from Nov. 17.

Q: Hey Al, I was just wondering what your expectations are for this year…Also, can we break the trend and win some games in the ACC Tournament? — Elliot McCarthy
A: Simple Elliot–my expectations are to have fun, enjoy being with my teammates, have a winning record, win an ACC Championship and get an NCAA Tournament Birth. Yes, I really feel that we can win some games in the ACC Tournament. We have a lot of veteran guys that understand and know what it takes to get it done. Thanks for your support, Elliot!

Q: What is the thing that you have the most trouble doing in basketball? -Erica Pender
A: Erica, this may sound weird, but I love everything about basketball. I like all the things that may seem boring and very tiring about basketball because at the end of the day, I love to get better. Thanks for your support, Erica!

Q: How is the team looking this year? I think we should go far in the NCAA Tournament, how about you? – Jarquise Ellis
A: Well Jarquise, the team is looking good and it’s a different look from the teams in the past, but I think we will do very well. Come on, Jarquise, one of the main reasons I came back was to have fun and enjoy my senior year and get to that NCAA Tournament! Thanks for your support, Jarquise!

Q: Hey Al, what’s up? Don’t know if you remember me, but I just wanted to say that us Perry folks will be pulling for you this season. Good Luck! – Jesse Weekley (Perry High ’02)
A: Yeah man! What’s up Jesse? I remember those good old times back in the day–baseball teams and all. Hope everything is going well with you! Thanks for saying hey, man.

Q: How will Toney Douglas help you become an All-American? – Mike
A: Well Mike, Toney Douglas is a true point guard and he’s going to take a lot of pressure off me to carry the team every night. At the same time, he’s going to create a lot of easy opportunities for myself and my teammates, so hopefully he will help me become an All-American. Thanks for your support Mike.

Q: Mr. Thornton, what are your expectations for yourself personally this season? – Ms. K. Jones
A: Well Ms. Jones, my expectations are very simple–have fun, have a great season, enjoy my teammates, get to the ACC Championship and the NCAA tournament. And basically just to cherish my senior year at FSU. Thanks for all your support Ms. Jones!

Q: Who is your favorite FSU football player? – Carson Finan
A: I would have to say Deion Sanders by far. He was so electric and very exciting to watch! Thanks for all your support Carson!

Q: How far do you think the basketball team will go this year? – Claude Felder
A: Right now Claude, honestly I can say the sky is the limit for this basketball team. Thanks for your support, Claude!

Q: What advice would you give to an eighth grade basketball player who right now is second point guard and feels that sometimes he should start? – Max
A: My advice is to keep working hard and to keep improving on your game each and every day. Also, talk to your coach and let him know how you feel. It won’t hurt, trust me! Let me tell you something–believe it or not, I used to be the third forward coming off the bench getting no playing time at all, but I proved to my coach over a period of time that I was “starter worthy.” Keep working hard and keep getting better and you will be alright! Keep your head up! Thanks for your support.

Q: Hello Al, Mom and Dad are so proud of you and all the goodness you are accomplishing at FSU! Thanks for being a good responsible son. Go Noles! This is your senior year, enjoy it! -Philomenia Thornton
A: Hello Mom and Dad! Thanks for raising me right and teaching me right from wrong! You guys deserve all the credit.

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