One-on-One with Chris Thomas

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital

Posted: May 27, 2003

The Phoenix Suns held their second pre-draft workout Tuesday morning and Notre Dame playmaker Chris Thomas was among those who attended. Thomas, who was named the National Freshman of the Year by Basketball Times and Basketball News in 2001-02, assumed a starting role as point guard for the Fighting Irish on the first day of practice. As a sophomore, Thomas averaged 18.7 points and ranked eighth in the nation in assists (6.9).

Following the workout, Thomas chatted with about his college career and playing in the NBA. How was your workout today?

Thomas: It went real well. We had a good time. I played well. I had a chance to work with the coaches and develop a relationship with them. Was this your first workout?

Thomas: No. I worked out for Boston, Seattle, Miami and Orlando. What was it like coming out of Pike High School and being named “Mr. Basketball” in the basketball-crazed state of Indiana?

Thomas: My senior year I got “Mr. Basketball” in Indiana. It was a great feat for me and my family. It was something I worked for all my life. Is it true you recorded a triple-double in your first collegiate game at Notre Dame, the first in school history?

Thomas: My first game I had a triple-double (24 points, 11 assists, 11 steals). It kind of set the tone for a great career. I felt like it got me off to a good start and showed Notre Dame and everyone in the country what I can do. How would you describe your game?

Thomas: I feel like I can do a lot of things well. I’m not great in any one area, but I don’t lack in any one area. I’m can come out and run a team, and I definitely take pride in my work ethic. I feel that’s the greatest aspect of my game. I work 100 percent on my game and I work as hard as the person on the right and left of me. Is there an NBA player you could compare your game to?

Thomas: A lot of people have said (Sacramento guard Mike) Bibby and (San Antonio guard Tony) Parker. Maybe because we look alike and because we like to score and run the team. I’m just trying to make a name for myself and hopefully I’ll make it on a roster, and try to contribute in any way possible. The Suns already have a star at point guard in Stephon Marbury. Are you familiar with his game?

Thomas: Steph is one of the best point guards in the league. He’s one or two. He and Kidd are the best in the league. To be able to work with him and play against him every day in practice would be a great thing for me. Hopefully, I would get a chance to pick up on a few things. Watching him, I’ve always seen his big heart and courageousness. Could you give a brief scouting report on all the guys you went against today?

Thomas: Mario (Austin) is a do-it-all guy. He’s light off his feet. He can post and step out and take the jumper. Jerome (Beasley), he likes to shoot the jumper and goes real hard, and what’s the other guy’s name? Zarko (Cabarkapa).

Thomas: He’s a good player. He has a lot of finesse. He plays hard and he can also shoot the three. He’s good off the perimeter. He knows how to play the game. Do you have a feeling of where you will go in the draft?

Thomas: No. I don’t have a feeling yet. My options are still open since I haven’t signed with an agent. If I feel like I’m not in a comfortable situation and I won’t get drafted in a spot where I would hope to, then I’ll go back to school.


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