Thistlewood Leaves Top of His Class

He’s also not the first college student to change his mind midstream, going from computer science to the business school, seeking full-circle knowledge of what he was learning and every way it could be applied.

“I wanted to switch, because I wanted to improve not only my technical and hard skills, but I also wanted to increase my business and soft skills,” he said. “I had a technical background with coding and computer science for two and half years, and the business school offers a computer information systems program. It was a different challenge to make me more well-rounded.

“It allowed me to have a broader sense of business and technology as a whole, where now graduating and going into my master’s program, which allows me to specify directly into what I want to do.”

He will pursue his master’s degree in computer science at Colorado School of Mines with a concentration in cyber security. He will also play one more year of college basketball for the Miners in a town where he starred as a prep.

His senior year for the Rams was hampered by injuries, but he exits ranking fifth with 171 3-pointers made, seventh in 3-point attempts and eighth in games started. For Medved, his impact goes well beyond the numbers.

“When he came in here and we were trying to build our culture of work and habits, he was the one who was kind of the pioneer who started that,” Medved said. “He didn’t necessarily have the people to necessarily show him the way every day. He was the one who brought that to our program. I remember Isaiah Stevens coming here as a freshman, and he would look at a guy like Adam Thistlewood being in the gym early, leaving late and getting in the extra work and the way he approached every day, and Isaiah saying I have to go hang out with him, because I know when I do that, it makes me better.

“Those are things I know as a coach in building your program, he was a pioneer that way. He brought that to us, and he brought that to us in every area of his life and he’s a huge part of building the culture of this program.”

Both pursuits were primary for Thistlewood in his time at Colorado State. He didn’t want to give either half an effort, and finding the balance to give both his full attention was a trick he had to learn. It demanded life balance and being devoted to the schedule he set for himself.

At times, as important as each one was to him, basketball could sometimes serve as a distraction to his academic pressures, and in turn, he could sit in class and concentrate on the topic at hand, not who he was going to have to guard that night at Moby Arena.

“I think being who I am and kind of where I come from, education is a critical piece to my whole decision. When I came to campus, my thought process was excelling the best I could both on the court and in the classroom, while receiving a world-class education here at Colorado State,” Thistlewood said. “It was being able to balance both of those, but at the same time not letting one be more important than the other. It’s difficult to devote the time to both sides of the coin. I think it’s critical that setting a routine early in my career and letting people know what I want to do, have them aware I didn’t want to just be a basketball player or just a student, that I wanted to excel at both was important. So, making that who I am and setting time aside and developing a discipline was key. It doesn’t come easy. You have to work at it.”

A task Thistlewood embraced. A character trait professors and basketball coaches alike can appreciate.

Erlando F Rasatro

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