5-Year Anniversary: Where Are They Now?

By Alan Barker - MaineRedClaws.com

As the Maine Red Claws completed their fifth season, Crustacean Nation has seen a lot of players take the court. 14 players have been assigned to the team from our NBA affiliates. Eight of our players have earned NBA call-ups. In all, 109 players have seen action with the Red Claws. On November 27, 2009, Maine sent the first 11 players in franchise history to the court. In the five years since then, our original players have gone on to a multitude of different things in basketball and in life.

Billy Thomas - Thomas was officially announced as the first Red Claw. He played in 39 games. After the 2009-10 season he opened the Billy Thomas Hoops Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. He has been the head coach of the Barstow School boys varsity basketball team in Kansas City since the 2010-11 season.

Bill Walker - Assigned to Maine by the Boston Celtics, Walker appeared in nine games. In February, 2010, The Celtics traded Walker to the New York Knicks for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry. He was released by the Knicks in April 2012. Walker was claimed by the Sioux Falls Skyforce in April, 2013. Now known as Henry Walker (his middle name), the Kansas State product spent the 2013-14 season with Sioux Falls.

Noel Felix - Drafted in the 4th round Felix played 30 games for the Red Claws before being traded to the Springfield Armor for Morris Almond. After finishing the 2009-10 season with Springfield, Felix signed with the Seoul Samsung Thunders of the Korean Basketball League for the 2010-11 season. Felix last played for the Guaiqueries de Margarita of the Venezuelan LPB.

Will Blalock - After 25 games with the Red Claws, Blalock was traded to the Reno Bighorns. Blalock signed with Australian club Townsville Crocodiles in the 2010-11 season. In 2011, he signed with Canadian team the Saint John Mill Rats, where he played until returning to the Bighorns in 2012. Blalock returned to the Mill Rats this season.

Abdulai Jalloh - Jalloh earned his spot at an open try out, appearing in nine games for Maine. Springfield signed Jalloh for the final 32 games of that season. Jalloh signed with the New Mexico Thunderbirds in 2010, appearing in 38 games. Jalloh joined Al Arabi of the Qatar Basketball League in 2011. He now plays for Al Sadd of the QBL.

Mike Williams - Another open try out invitee, Williams appeared in eight games with Maine. The Springfield Armor signed him after an open tryout in 2010. He appeared in five games. Williams completed his law degree from the University of Connecticut in 2011 and is currently a Tax Manager for Danerica Enterprises.

Darnell Lazare - After playing in all 50 games of the Red Claws' inaugural season, Lazare was traded to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for their second round pick. After one game with the Indiana Pacers, Lazare returned to Fort Wayne for 2011-12. Lazare then signed with the Sydney Kings of the Australian National Basketball League. In 2013, Lazare signed with the New Zealand Breakers of the ANBL. After a brief stint with the club, Lazare returned to the D-League, where he was reacquired by Fort Wayne, and then traded to Idaho where he finished the 2013-14 season.

Tony Bobbitt - Picked in the expansion draft, Bobbitt appeared in 30 games. Bobbitt played seven games with the Springfield Armor after being included in the Morris Almond trade and appeared in nine games the following season. He appeared in 60 games for the Idaho Stampede through 2012 after Springfield traded him for former Red Claw Lance Hurdle.

Stanley Thomas - Thomas, another open try out invitee, appeared in two games with the Red Claws. He would later coach boys high school basketball at the Charles Allen Prosser Career Academy in Chicago.

Anthony Terrell - Acquired in the 2009 expansion draft, Terrell appeared in 31 games with the Red Claws. After basketball, Terrell returned to Oklahoma with his wife to work in the oil fields. Currently working on the rigs, Terrell has stayed away from basketball, focusing his time on his family and his work.

Gary Ervin - Selected with the 4th round pick in the expansion draft, Ervin appeared in two games. After Maine, Ervin joined the Halifax Rainmen of the Canadian PBL. In 2011, Ervin travelled to Australia to join the Woolong Hawks of the Australian NBL, earning the MVP award. He played for the NBL'S Townsville Crocodiles in 2012, and is currently an Adelaide 36er.

As with the state of Maine, the Red Claws have had a diverse group of players who have done great things. The Red Claws are happy to reflect on the first group of players that suited up for us, and look forward to the great things our current and future players will do on and off the basketball court.