After just seven seasons of playing professionally overseas, former McDonald's All-American point guard and Indiana's Mr. Basketball, Chris Thomas surprisingly threw in the towel.
"The love for the game and the passion for being number one simply weren't there for me anymore," he told Eurobasket from his home in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The 30-year-old Notre Dame alumnus has played in five countries -- Italy, Greece, Poland, Spain and Israel, but is now building a career in the corporate business world as a financial representative at Milwaukee based Northwestern Mutual, a Life Insurance and Financial Services company. Thomas is also the assistant coach for Southport high school's basketball team.
Last season, Thomas helped lead Israel's Galil/Gilboa to the Balkan league championship, averaging 6.6 points and 4 assists in 24 minutes. In the Israeli league, Thomas upped his numbers to 8.8 points and 4.8 assists in 30 minutes of action as Galil/Gilboa finished the regular season in second place.
For Thomas, learning the nuances of the European game and positioning himself as one of the top point guards statistically in the prestigious Spanish ACB League was the simple part of his overseas grind: "I dealt with lawsuits and not seeing all my money abroad and the business side really took away a lot of the love and purity I had for the game," he said. "It was special for me to walk away with no regrets after winning the Balkan title with Galil/Gilboa.
Despite receiving multiple European offers throughout the summer, Thomas found himself juggling between a career as a basketball player and that of a family man. "Family is the most important thing to me and I had a son before coming to Israel. I battled with my priorities of being a humble father and fulfilling my ego of playing ball and being in the spotlight," Thomas added.
According to the Indianapolis native and ex-Pike high school two-time state champion (2000 and 2001), basketball was and always has been about being the best on the court: "Basketball is and always will be a big part of my life but it wasn't my whole life, so it was easy to step away. The passion of being number one wasn't there for me anymore and fortunately, I was able to play at a high level even though I wasn't exhorting a lot of energy. I enjoy the fact that I walked away from the game knowing it was my time. I retired on my own terms."
Thomas currently holds a number of Notre Dame school records. He is the only player in Notre Dame basketball history to score more than 1,700 points and dish out 600-plus assists. He is also ranked first in steals with 244. Thomas was assigned point guard to the First Team All Notre Dame team for the celebration game of 100 years of Notre Dame basketball.
Jackson number one in EuroCup for round 3 - 14 hours ago
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American Point guard Pierre Jackson (180-PG-91) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Cedevita, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. The 25-year old player was the main contributor (29 points, six rebounds and seven assists) to his team's victory, helping them to edge out MZT Skopje (#5, 0-2) 89-85. Cedevita is placed at 4th position in EuroCup. Cedevita need more victories to improve their 1-2 record. In the team's last game Jackson had a r... [read more]
American Point guard Pierre Jackson (180-PG-91) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Cedevita, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. The 25-year old player was the main contributor (29 points, six rebounds and seven assists) to his team's victory, helping them to edge out MZT Skopje (#5, 0-2) 89-85. Cedevita is placed at 4th position in EuroCup. Cedevita need more victories to improve their 1-2 record. In the team's last game Jackson had a remarkable three three-pointers out of 7 attempts. He turned to be Cedevita's top player in his first season with the team. Former Baylor University star has very solid stats this year. Jackson is league's best scorer averaging so far 29.0ppg. Jackson is in league's top in assists (6th best: 7.0apg) and averages impressive 42.9% from behind 3-point line.
The second best player in last round's games was 27-year old American Jacob Pullen (184-PG-89) of league's leader Khimky. Pullen had a very good evening with 25 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists. Of course he led Khimky to another comfortable win outscoring ALBA (2-1) 102-72. The season is still at the very beginning and this victory may help a lot. Let's wait for the next round. Pullen is a newcomer at Khimky, but is already one of team's top players.
Third on the list of top players last round was American swingman Tarence Kinsey (202-G/F-84) of Hapoel J-M. Kinsey scored 23 points. He was a key player of Hapoel J-M, leading his team to an 89-74 easy win against Un.Olimpija (#5, 0-3). Hapoel J-M has a very good start of the season. But there were just 2 games played, so it's too early to judge them at this stage. Kinsey also has a very good start of the season with very strong stats. Kinsey has a very solid season. In 2 games in EuroCup he scored 16.0ppg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Ksistof Lavrinovic (209-C-79) of Lietkabelis - 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists 5. DeAndre Kane (193-G-89) of N.Novgorod - 17 points and 11 rebounds 6. Aaron White (206-PF-92) of Zenit - 18 points and 6 rebounds 7. Dominique Sutton (198-G/F-86) of Ratiopharm - 16 points and 5 rebounds 8. Dejan Musli (213-C-91) of Unicaja - 19 points and 2 rebounds 9. Daniel Clark (210-F/C-88) of MZT Skopje - 23 points and 8 rebounds 10. Facundo Campazzo (179-PG-91) of UCAM Murcia - 22 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Results and Stats from Round 3 of Regular Season - 1 day ago
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Group A MZT Skopje - Cedevita 85-89 We cannot really consider it an upset in the game between close teams when FYR Macedonia MZT Skopje (0-2) was defeated at home by Croatia Cedevita (1-2) 89-85 on Wednesday. The guests trailed by 5 points after three quarters before their 27-18 charge, which allowed them to win the game. Cedevita made 24-of-26 free shots (92.3 percent) during the game. MZT Skopje was plagued by 24 personal fouls down the stretch. It was a great evening for American poi... [read more]
We cannot really consider it an upset in the game between close teams when FYR Macedonia MZT Skopje (0-2) was defeated at home by Croatia Cedevita (1-2) 89-85 on Wednesday. The guests trailed by 5 points after three quarters before their 27-18 charge, which allowed them to win the game. Cedevita made 24-of-26 free shots (92.3 percent) during the game. MZT Skopje was plagued by 24 personal fouls down the stretch. It was a great evening for American point guard Pierre Jackson (180-91, college: Baylor) who led his team to a victory scoring 29 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Power forward Marko Arapovic (207-96) helped adding 13 points and 7 rebounds. The best for the losing side was British power forward Daniel Clark (210-88) with 23 points and 8 rebounds and American guard Xavier Thames (191-91, college: San Diego St.) scored 18 points and 4 assists. Four MZT Skopje players scored in double figures. Cedevita will have a break next round. MZT Skopje will play on the road against BC Nizhny Novgorod and hopes to get finally their first victory. Top scorers: MZT Skopje: D.Clark 23+8reb+1ast, X.Thames 18+4reb+4ast, J.Scott 15+9reb, J.Lalic 10+2reb, A.Cvetkovski 7+1ast, U.Lucic 5+1reb+2ast Cedevita: P.Jackson 29+6reb+7ast, F.Kruslin 14+3reb+3ast, M.Arapovic 13+7reb+1ast, M.Bilan 8+2reb+1ast, D.Musa 6+1reb, T.Katic 6+1reb+2ast
The most crucial game of the last round was a loss of Lithuania Lietkabelis (2-1) in Panevezys on Wednesday night. Hosts were edged by Russia BC Nizhny Novgorod (1-1) 75-72. The guests trailed by 3 points after three quarters before their 20-14 charge, which allowed them to win the game. It was a great evening for American guard DeAndre Kane (193-89, college: Iowa St., agency: BeoBasket) who led his team to a victory with a double-double by scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds. Petr Gubanov (206-87, agency: Alti Sport) helped adding 20 points. The best for the losing side was center Ksistof Lavrinovic (209-79) with a double-double by scoring 17 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists and guard Mindaugas Lukauskis (198-79) scored 13 points. BC Nizhny Novgorod are looking forward to face MZT Skopje (#5) at home in the next round. Lietkabelis will play against Gran Canaria in Las Palmas and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Lietkabelis: K.Lavrinovic 17+10reb+4ast, M.Lukauskis 13+3reb+2ast, Z.Skucas 11+4reb, G.Leonavicius 8+1reb+5ast, S.Galdikas 7+8reb, D.Tarolis 5+3reb N.Novgorod: P.Gubanov 20+1reb, D.Kane 17+11reb, I.Strebkov 11+3reb+6ast, A.Gudumak 7+5reb, K.Boynton 7+4reb+3ast, S.Vene 6+8reb+3ast
Dominion BB used a home court advantage and defeated the opponent from Vilnius 80-76 on Wednesday night. The hosts started the game with a very strong first quarter 22-13. But Lietuvos rytas won second period 18-17. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. It was a great evening for forward Alex Mumbru (202-79, agency: BeoBasket) who led his team to a victory scoring 19 points and 4 assists. American-Kosovan swingman Scott Bamforth (188-89, college: Weber St., agency: BeoBasket) helped adding 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Dominion BB's coach used a ten-player rotation in such tough game. The best for the losing side was American-Polish guard David Logan (185-82, college: Indianapolis) with 19 points and 6 assists and American forward Drew Gordon (205-90, college: N.Mexico) produced a double-double by scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds. Five Lietuvos rytas players scored in double figures. Dominion BB will face Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (#3) in Madrid in the next round, which may be the game of the day. Lietuvos rytas will play on the road against ALBA Berlin and hope to get finally their first victory. Top scorers: Lietuvos rytas: D.Logan 19+2reb+6ast, D.Gordon 16+10reb, A.Gudaitis 14+5reb, C.Fisher 10+1ast, A.Jomantas 10+5reb+1ast, A.Lapeta 3+7reb Dominion BB: A.Mumbru 19+1reb+4ast, S.Bamforth 14+5reb+4ast, A.Hervelle 10+5reb+2ast, M.Eric 10+2reb, I.Buva 9+4reb+2ast, D.Nikolic 7+4reb+2ast
Very significant was Russia Khimky's (#3, 2-1) victory against German ALBA Berlin (2-1) 102-72. The game was mostly controlled by Khimky. ALBA Berlin was better in second period 25-23. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Khimky dominated down low during the game scoring 56 of its points in the paint compared to ALBA Berlin's 30. They outrebounded ALBA Berlin 42-23 including 29 on the defensive glass. Khimky looked well-organized offensively handing out 25 assists. It was a great evening for American-Georgia point guard Jacob Pullen (184-89, college: Kansas St.) who led his team to a victory scoring 25 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Sergey Monya (202-83) helped adding 16 points and 10 rebounds. Four Khimky players scored in double figures. The best for the losing side was Bosnian center Elmedin Kikanovic (210-88, agency: BeoBasket) with 19 points and Serbian swingman Dragan Milosavljevic (197-89) scored 11 points and 4 assists. The winner was already known earlier in the game, so both coaches allowed to play the bench players saving starting five for next games. Khimky will have a break next round. ALBA Berlin will play at home against Lietuvos rytas and hope to win that game. Top scorers: ALBA: E.Kikanovic 19+1ast, P.Carter 12+3reb, D.Milosavljevic 11+4reb+4ast, P.Siva 8+4reb+5ast, N.Giffey 6+1ast, I.Akpinar 6+1reb+1ast Khimky: J.Pullen 25+2reb+5ast, S.Monya 16+10reb+2ast, A.Shved 15+1reb, E.Vyaltsev 15+4reb+3ast, E.Rowland 8+5reb+6ast, M.Todorovic 7+5reb+4ast
Very important is a home loss of Spanish Unicaja Malaga (1-1) against German Bayern Muenchen (2-1) on Wednesday night. Host Unicaja Malaga was defeated by Bayern Muenchen in Malaga 74-62. The guests trailed by 12 points after first quarter, but they stormed back and won the game by 12 points. The best player for the winners was Serbian Vladimir Lucic (202-89, agency: BeoBasket) who scored 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. American center Devin Booker (203-91, college: Clemson) chipped in 13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Four Bayern Muenchen players scored in double figures. At the other side the best for losing team was Serbian center Dejan Musli (213-91, agency: BeoBasket) who recorded 19 points and point guard Alberto Diaz (189-94) added 5 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists respectively. Both coaches tested many bench players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Bayern Muenchen will have a break next round, and it should allow them to practice more before next game. Unicaja Malaga will play against UCAM Murcia and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Unicaja: D.Musli 19+2reb+1ast, O.Lafayette 9+3reb+2ast, K.Fogg 7+5reb+4ast, H.N'diaye 6+1reb, C.Suarez 6+3reb+2ast, A.Diaz 5+8reb+5ast B.Muenchen: V.Lucic 18+5reb+4ast, D.Booker 13+9reb+4ast, R.Redding 11+4reb, B.Taylor 10+3reb+2ast, A.Renfroe 7+3reb+3ast, A.Gavel 5+3reb+2ast
Important game to mention about took place in Saint Petersburg. Spanish UCAM Murcia (2-1) saved a 2-point victory on the road edging Russia Zenit (1-1) 85-83 on Wednesday evening. UCAM Murcia forced 20 Zenit turnovers. It was an exceptional evening for Argentinian point guard Facundo Campazzo (179-91) who led the winners and scored 22 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals. Brazilian center Vitor Faverani (211-88) accounted for 15 points for the winning side. American Aaron White (206-92, college: Iowa) came up with 18 points and 6 rebounds and Latvia Janis Timma (201-92) added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists respectively for Zenit in the defeat. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Both coaches used bench players in such tough game. UCAM Murcia will play against Unicaja Malaga (#3) at home in the next round, which may be the game of the day. Zenit will play against Buducnost and it may be a tough game between close rivals. Top scorers: Zenit: A.White 18+6reb+1ast, S.Markovic 15+1reb+9ast, J.Timma 14+6reb+5ast, R.Toolson 11+2reb+3ast, K.Landry 9+8reb, S.Karasev 6+3reb+2ast UCAM Murcia: F.Campazzo 22+5reb+7ast, B.Baron 16+1reb+1ast, V.Faverani 15+2reb+2ast, N.Radovic 11+6reb, V.Benite 6+4reb+1ast, S.Rojas 4+13reb+1ast
Not a big story in a game in Ljubljana where Slovenia Un.Olimpija (0-3) was defeated by Israeli Hapoel Jerusalem (2-0) 89-74 on Wednesday. The game was mostly controlled by Hapoel Jerusalem. Un.Olimpija was better in second period 23-18. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Hapoel Jerusalem made 18-of-21 free shots (85.7 percent) during the game. It was a great evening for American point guard Curtis Jerrells (185-87, college: Baylor, agency: Stealth Sport) who led his team to a victory scoring 22 points. His fellow American import swingman Tarence Kinsey (202-84, college: S.Carolina) helped adding 23 points. The best for the losing side was Croatia-Slovenia power forward Drazen Bubnic (207-86, agency: XL Basketball Agency) with 17 points and Serbian Nikola Jankovic (207-94, agency: BeoBasket) scored 12 points and 5 rebounds (on 6-of-7 shooting from the field). Both coaches allowed to play bench players saving starting five for next games. Hapoel Jerusalem will face Lokomotiv (#4) in Kuban in the next round. Un.Olimpija will play on the road against Valencia Basket and hopes to get finally their first victory. Top scorers: Un.Olimpija: D.Bubnic 17+3reb+2ast, N.Jankovic 12+5reb, S.Milosevic 10+5reb, G.Hrovat 9+1reb, B.Mesicek 9+2ast, J.Barbaric 7+3ast Hapoel J-M: T.Kinsey 23+2reb, C.Jerrells 22+2reb+2ast, L.Eliyahu 11+3reb+5ast, T.Peterson 8+2reb, B.Timor 7+1reb, J.Dyson 5+4reb+3ast
Very important is a home loss of Russia Lokomotiv (1-1) against German ratiopharm Ulm (2-1) on Wednesday night. Host Lokomotiv was defeated by ratiopharm Ulm in Kuban 77-62. The game was mostly controlled by ratiopharm Ulm. Lokomotiv was better in third quarter 19-18. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. They made 22-of-27 charity shots (81.5 percent) during the game. It was a good game for American swingman Dominique Sutton (198-86, college: N.C.Central) who led his team to a victory with 16 points and 5 rebounds. His fellow American import guard Chris Babb (196-90, college: Iowa St.) contributed with 16 points for the winners. American-Montenegrin point guard Taylor Rochestie (185-85, college: Washington St.) answered with 18 points and Greek power forward Ian Vougioukas (212-85, college: St.Louis) added 9 points and 7 rebounds in the effort for Lokomotiv. Both coaches allowed to play bench players saving starting five for next games. ratiopharm Ulm will have a break next round. Lokomotiv will play on the road against Hapoel Jerusalem (#1) and hope to win that game. Top scorers: Lokomotiv: T.Rochestie 18+1reb+3ast, I.Vougioukas 9+7reb+3ast, M.Collins 8+7reb+2ast, M.Janning 8+4reb+1ast, K.Gabriel 8+2reb+2ast, A.Zubkov 6+5reb Ratiopharm: C.Babb 16+3reb+2ast, D.Sutton 16+5reb, P.Guenther 11+3reb+1ast, T.Ohlbrecht 9+3reb, R.Morgan 8+4reb+2ast, T.Braun 7+4reb
BC Khimky Moscow Region (VTB) inked 24-year old American point guard Markel Brown (191-86kg-92, college: Oklahoma State). He was about to sign at Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA. The last season Brown played at the Nets in NBA where in 61 games he averaged 6.0ppg, 2.0rpg and 1.5apg. Two years ago he was drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA) in second round (44th overall). Brown attended Oklahoma State until 2014 and it will be his third season in pro basketball. Among other achievements... [read more]
BC Khimky Moscow Region (VTB) inked 24-year old American point guard Markel Brown (191-86kg-92, college: Oklahoma State). He was about to sign at Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA. The last season Brown played at the Nets in NBA where in 61 games he averaged 6.0ppg, 2.0rpg and 1.5apg. Two years ago he was drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA) in second round (44th overall). Brown attended Oklahoma State until 2014 and it will be his third season in pro basketball. Among other achievements his team made it to the Big 12 Tournament Semifinals in 2013. Brown received also All-Big 12 2nd Team award in 2013 and 2014 at his college time. Brown has played also professionally in D-League (Maine Red Claws).
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