Announcements and Important Events
Sparta High School Athletics is excited to announce the hiring of Coach Austin Thornton as new Head Coach of the Sparta Spartans Boys Basketball program. Coach Thornton brings years of experience varying from playing at the collegiate level, coaching at the collegiate level and playing professionally overseas.
As a four year starter at Cedar Springs High School, Coach Thornton’s teams won three conference championships, four district titles, and appeared in a regional championship game all while compiling a record of 75 wins and 22 losses. As a senior he was named to the 2007 Associated Press All-State Class B Team, the Grand Rapids Press Dream Team, the Detroit Free Press Dream Team and the Detroit News Class B First Team. He is also the all-time leading scorer in Cedar Springs boys basketball history.
He went on to play college basketball at Michigan State University. During his time there, MSU won the 2009, 2010, and 2012 B1G Regular-season championships, participated in back to back Final Fours in 2009 and 2010, and as senior co-captain alongside Draymond Green MSU won the 2012 B1G Tournament Title and were named a #1 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. During his senior year Austin six points, three rebounds, one assist, shot 49% from the field, 48% from three and 88% from the free-throw line and tied a B1G tournament record for the highest 3PT % during a single B1G Tournament.
Coach Thornton became a graduate assistant at MSU during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons. As a graduate assistant, he worked closely with Head Coach Tom Izzo, Associate head coach Dwayne Stephens, assistant coach Mike Garland, assistant coach Dane Fife and players like Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, Deyonta Davis, Matt Costello, Eron Harris, Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford, Nick Ward, Kenny Goins, Matt McQuaid and many others. After completing his master’s degree in kinesiology he played professionally for the Lugano Tigers (Switzerland) Newcastle Hunters (Australia), BKG Prima (Hungary) and MEAFC (Hungary).