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Hot Corner: White Sox reliever Matt Thornton in the Interrogation Room

Matt Thornt| Getty Images file

Matt Thornton | Getty Images file

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Updated: November 10, 2011 9:33AM

Forget baseball. Matt Thornton’s first passion was basketball. His first dunk was in eighth grade, his first technical soon after. Thornton attended Grand Valley State on a basketball scholarship, playing three years of baseball and hoops. On the court, ‘‘I was dirty,’’ he admitted. ‘‘I was a real dirty player, but I knew how to not get caught.’’ Sounds like a visit to the Interrogation Room.

Joe Cowley: You have to be the best hoops player in the clubhouse, right?

Matt Thornton: [looks around] I have no idea.

JC: Best guess?

MT: I’m sure if you went 5-on-5 on the court and you had some . . . yeah. I know that I have an idea of what I’m doing out there. I haven’t played in a long, long time, but I have a pretty good idea.

JC: When is the last time you dunked a basketball?

MT: I haven’t tried in seven years.

JC: So the ‘‘white men can’t jump’’ thing ­— you’ve disproved that.

MT: Oh, yeah, I’ve had a lot of dunks, yeah.

JC: If they threw you in an NBA game right now, could you score?

MT: Yes. Probably inside, but I can shoot, so either/or.

JC: You have a reputation in this clubhouse in this long-standing fantasy football league you guys have had. You seem targeted, been called a cheater . . . there’s always controversy with you.

MT: Well, I have a bull’s-eye on my back, and I’m 1-0 this year already so . . . so be it.

JC: You also walked around here for years as the self-proclaimed king of gaming – ‘‘Madden,’’ ‘‘NCAA,’’ whatever. A lot of young guys around here now. You been passed up?

MT: Not as much time to play — I have the family now — but it’s like riding a bike. Once you’re good at video games, you are always good. I’ve always said that you might beat me at one game of college football or ‘‘Madden,’’ but I’ll make adjustments and won’t lose to you again.

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