Northland senior finding success on and off the court


Thomas Whiting attended Ashland High School, where he played basketball. The 6’8” Northland College senior had not considered Northland College in his hometown of Ashland until Coach Scott Sorensen approached him. “I’m glad he did,” Thomas said. “The academics are top-notch and the cost is cut down due to scholarships.”

Thomas qualified for and received the Wisconsin Grant. He also received the Robert and Debbie Cervenka Scholarship, a full scholarship from Northland College for northern Wisconsin and rural students, which covers tuition and fees.

Thomas is an engineering student and a dual sport athlete, playing basketball and soccer. In 2017, he was given an UMAC All-Conference Honorable Mention and named to the UMAC All-Defensive Team.

In other words, he keeps busy. “I wouldn’t have my college experience any other way,” he said. He displays his strong work ethic and spirit of having fun both on and off the court. Thomas taught himself 3D printing in his spare time. This equipment led to the establishment of his own, local business, supporting other local businesses.

In the summer of 2016, he worked as a private 3D printing contractor under the employment of Larson-Juhl Framing in Ashland. “My job was to take the picture frame designs they would send me and reverse engineer the measurements to come up with a custom piece for each unique picture frame they manufacture at the Ashland plant,” he said. “I then print the parts on my personal 3D printer which I bought as a kit and assembled on my own.”

This 3D picture frame holder, created by Thomas and his brother and partner, Zach, saved the company money in reduced setup time.

“The plant manager did some rough math and came to the conclusion that if our part takes the machinists five minutes to set up instead of the customary fifteen-to-thirty minutes, Larson-Juhl can run six-to-twelve million more feet through the plant under ideal conditions in one year.”

This past summer, he started his own 3D printing business. He is now into his final year of undergraduate studies.

“As with any student athlete, the number one thing we look for is character,” said Coach Scott Sorensen. “Thomas has all of it—he has high character, is academic-achieving, and he has grown into one of the best basketball players in the league.”

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