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- Deon Thomas Biography, Net Worth, Career, Awards, Personal Life, Family, and Other Interesting Facts
Deon Thomas Biography, Net Worth, Career, Awards, Personal Life, Family, and Other Interesting Facts
June 19, 2021 By Sourav
|Real Name||Deon La velle Thomas|
|Nick Name||Deon Thomas|
|Profession||Former Basketball Player|
|Birth Place||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Address||1800 South 1st Street, Champaign, Illinois (Fighting Illini)|
Former American-Israeli basketball star Deon La velle Thomas, famously known as just Deon Thomas spent his time in American college basketball and National Basketball Association during his heydays. He is among the very few players from foreign origin who bagged the prestigious Illinois Mr. Basketball award as an accomplished forward. Since his childhood days, he caught the attention of basketball pundits as he helped his school team to lift the Chicago Public League title.
Deon Thomas Biography And Other Interesting Facts
After having a successful stint at high school basketball, he opted to play at the NCAA league. Thomas joined the Fighting Illini Men’s basketball team at the University of Illinois.
During his time at the college, he became the all-time top scorers in the history of Fighting Illini. After a huge hype, he was picked by one of the oldest NBA franchises, Dallas Mavericks, as the 28th pick. However, he opted to play in Europe and Israel.
Deon Thomas Early Career
Thomas started playing basketball for the Neal F. Simeon Vocational High School in Chicago during his high school days. For his immense talent, he became a star player in Chicago within a very short period.
During his junior year in 1988, he led the Neal F. Simeon’s Wolverines basketball team to win the Chicago Public League title.
During his senior year in 1989, he was named as the Illinois Mr. Basketball for his brilliant performance for the wolverines. In that season, he has achieved his place in the McDonald's All-American Game. Interestingly, that game also featured one of the greatest NBA players of all time, Shaquille O'Neal.
Deon Thomas College Basketball Career
After his brilliant high school basketball stint, Thomas took admission at the University of Illinois and started playing for the Fighting Illini men’s basketball team.
He delivered a great performance throughout his entire college career and scored a total of 2129 points. With that feat, he became the all-time leading scorers of Fighting Illini. He also achieved a spectacular 18 points per game average.
He is the only basketball player ever to score more than 2k points in a college career. And for that, the college authority inducted him into the Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team in 2004. He created solid hype in the media for his brilliant performance. And, several NBA franchises showed interest in him for the 1994 NBA draft.
Deon Thomas Professional Career
NBA franchise Dallas Mavericks picked him as the 28th overall selection in the 1994 NBA Draft. However, he opted to play in Europe instead. In that same year, Thomas joined the Spanish basketball side Bàsquet Manresa.
After a single season, he joined fellow Spanish club Girona before joining Unicaja Málaga in 1996. He then played for several reputed clubs throughout Europe including Caja San Fernando, Maccabi Rishon LeZion, Gran Canaria, Cáceres, and Türk Telekom.
Finally, in 2003, he joined the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv. He not only helped the side to win both the Israeli championship and the Israeli cup but also secured the Euroleague championship twice.
He then joined Gymnastikos S. Larissas followed by the Bulgarian side, CSKA Sofia. Thomas then moved to Maccabi and played for both Givat Shmuel and Maccabi Haifa.
Deon Thomas European Legacy
He is one of the most successful American basketball players in the European leagues. However, he had several offers to play at the NBA. He was once accused of taking benefits in return to play for the Fighting Illini team. However, he denied that claim in an interview with Tema Sport newspaper as well as the Channel 3 of Bulgaria.
Deon Thomas Coaching Career
After his retirement from active sports, Thomas joined the Lewis and Clark Community College in Illinois as their head coach. He then joined the University of Illinois-Chicago and started working as an assistant basketball coach for its men’s team. Thomas, along with his co-host Doug Altenberger, then started working as an announcer for the Fighting Illini Sports Network in 2016.
Deon Thomas Personal Life
Born on 24th February 1971, Thomas spent his childhood in Chicago, Illinois, United States. During his basketball career, he falls for an Israeli woman and married her after a short romantic stint. He is now an Israeli citizen.
Deon Thomas Net Worth
According to the recent financial reports, the current net worth of Deon Thomas is estimated to be around $3 million as of the 2021-22 football season. Although he announced his retirement from professional basketball, he earned his money mostly from his coaching and advising duties. Besides, he also earned quite a good amount of money as an announcer for television networks.
Deon Thomas Awards
Thomas became the Catalan League champion in 1996 followed by the Andalucian Cup champion in 1998. He became both the Israeli League champion and Israeli Cup champion three times each. Besides, he achieved the Euroleague champion twice in his active playing career. He also has several personal accolades that are as follows.
- McDonald's All-American: 1989
- First-team Parade All-American: 1989
- Illinois Mr. Basketball Award: 1989