BILLY THOMAS INTRODUCED AS
PORTLAND, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Quirk Chevrolet, today introduced Billy Thomas as the first player in the franchise’s history. Thomas, whose rights were acquired by the Red Claws in the third round of their NBA D-league Expansion Draft in September, was presented with his Red Claws #12 jersey by President and General Manager Jon Jennings at a press conference this morning.
“We are so fortunate to have a player and person of the quality of Billy Thomas,” said Jennings. “Billy played in the NBA and came from a quality college program at Kansas. His leadership ability is exactly what a young team needs.”
The 6-5, 215 lb. guard brings a strong outside shooting threat to the team. Once the school record holder for career three-point field goals at the University of Kansas, Thomas has extensive experience in the NBA, NBA D-League, USBL, CBA, and IBL.
The two-time winner of the NBA D-League’s Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award for outstanding achievements on and off the court, Thomas comes to the Red Claws after leading the Colorado 14ers to the NBA D-League Championship last season. In 25 games with the 14ers in 2008-09, he averaged 16.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. The championship win was his second NBA D-League ring; Thomas was a member of the 2002 Greenville Groove squad that captured the league’s first championship. He has seen regular season NBA action in 53 games with the Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, and Cleveland Cavaliers over a four season span, including a career-high 25 games with the Nets in 2004-05. Thomas has also played in Summer Leagues for the Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, Nets, Wizards, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and Cavaliers.
Thomas, 33, has also played basketball all over the world. Undrafted following his 1998 graduation from the University of Kansas, he spent a season with the Philippine Basketball Association and has also seen action in Greece, Italy, Serbia, and Argentina. Thomas will be joined in Maine by wife Raquel and infant son Zion.