Project Description



“It’s not about the X’s and O’s its about the Jimmys and Joes”

As a high level basketball player and coach Cornell Thomas, has been in the locker room with some of the brightest basketball minds in the world. From top college coaches like Jay Wright (Villanova) Bill Self (Kansas) and Mike Krzyzeweski (Duke) to NBA coaches like Doc Rivers (Clippers), Steve Clifford (Bobcats), and Hubie Brown (Long time NBA coach Basketball Hall Of Famer) Cornell has learned that nothing wins more than the right culture. A long time saying in sports is, “It’s not about the X’s and O’s its about the Jimmys and Joes”. Without this common knowledge you will “lose” your team without even having the opportunity to “win” the game.

Cornell was a head coach at Sussex County Community college, where he had to implement a permanent culture in a program lacking of one. Through tough times and adversity he turned the program around to a nationally recognized team. It was here that Cornell discovered the meaning of Ubuntu (I am who I am because of all of us).

After his tenure there Cornell went on to become as assistant under legendary coach Joe Mantegna at academic and basketball powerhouse Blair Academy. In his seven year tenure at Blair the school has won 2 state championships, 3 conference championships, and have sent dozens of players to the Division 1 ranks. Blair currently has 3 active NBA players that serve as alumni.


  • Ubuntu: We will explore the meaning of Ubuntu in regards to team and culture.
  • Team Culture and Philosophy: We will discuss the power of teamwork and the importance of individuality within it.
  • Sherpa Culture: Helping others and selflessness
  • Cause Over Self: The ability to chase the mission regardless of adversity.
  • Rebounds and Assist: What’s important to your company? What do you value?


  • the importance of CULTURE
  • CAUSE-OVER-SELF (we before me)
  • dealing with ADVERSITY in the workplace
  • The value of COMMUNICATION
  • What makes a team GREAT(Championship DNA)
Cornell Thomas
Cornell ThomasProfessional Speaker, Coach and Author