Camelot’s Cory Thames Inducted into Lincoln University’s Hall of Fame
For Cory Thames, regional director of Camelot Education’s Richey Academy in Houston, being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Lincoln University was an unexpected honor.
“It really humbled me,” he said. Thames found out about the HBCU honoring him on May 23rd. “When I was playing ball it was something I never thought about and didn’t think was possible. It was amazing to be recognized, and that’s putting it mildly.”
Thames became the seventh player in Lincoln basketball history to score 1000 career points in 1996 and was the Lions’ second all-time leading scorer with 1,157 points at the conclusion of his career. His point total is currently sixth on the Lions’ all-time list. Thames was a member of the 1993 and 1994 ECAC Southern Division championship teams and was the Most Valuable Player in the 1994 championship tournament. Thames was a 1994 pre-season all-American selection and earned both the Sam Cozen Player of the Week and Senior Appreciation Awards, both awarded by the Philadelphia Area Small College Basketball Association.
Richey Academy is a transitional school run by Camelot Education. Students in this program have experienced disciplinary violations and were removed from their home campus. Richey Academy
gives students the behavioral tools and strategies to help them make decisions different from the ones that led them to their suspension or expulsion, so that when they return to campus, they can enjoy an education free of behavioral referrals or incidents. Students also stay on track for grade promotion through a robust academic curriculum.
Thames is going into his fifth year working for Camelot Education in Texas and 15th year overall with the organization, helping vulnerable youth realize their hidden potentials. He developed his skills – on and off the court – not just at Lincoln University but through time living in Baltimore, St. Louis, and Philadelphia.
“We help our students set goals and realize what they can achieve. What we do at Camelot is very much like being on an athletic team,” Thames said. “We work together, and we show our students how to work together and support one another. What I learned at Lincoln; about leadership and contributing to a winning environment, is what I pass on to our students.”
His former boss and mentor, Camelot’s deputy superintendent Milt Alexander said Thames definitely brings the leadership qualities he learned playing basketball and studying at Lincoln University into his work. Being inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame is a great accomplishment.
“It’s amazing for him and his family,” Alexander said. “I saw him play in college. He always represented the institution with pride and a great spirit. He demonstrates that same passion in his work with our students. He asks of them the same things that were asked of him, instilling in them a sense of pride and character. Experience in athletic teamwork is an attractive quality for our work but our overall requirements are much broader. Still, when our people have that experience it’s a great asset for them. Cory approaches every day as if he’s winning a championship.”
Thames was recently in Philadelphia where he got to spend some time with another man who has a passion for uplifting troubled young people, basketball legend Sonny Hill.
“I know him. I went to a game when I was in Philly and ran into him. He used to have camps for kids and he remembered me. I was giving my time to kids just as he has done for decades. He’s like a patriarch of that,” Thames said. “When you’re doing that kind of work, you think it’s just, well, regular. It’s other people who tell you how special it is, and that’s humbling too.”
Congratulations on your induction, Mr. Thames. Camelot’s students are fortunate to have you as their mentor.
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