FCBB signs US forward Deshaun Thomas for the upcoming season
161 appearances in the EuroLeague - only Leon Radosevic (231) and Othello Hunter (216) can point to more experience at the highest European level for the Bayern Basketball squad for the new season: With the signing of versatile wing player Deshaun Thomas, the German Cup winner has found another important building block - the 29-year-old American returns to the stage of the top division after a year in Japan and will enter his seventh EuroLeague season in the Munich jersey.
Deshaun Thomas has played for FC Barcelona, Efes Istanbul, Maccabi Tel Aviv and also two years for Panathinaikos Athens, where he delivered his best personal output of 13.3 points per game in 2019/2020 until the forced stop of the season due to Corona.
Thomas won the double in Greece in 2019 and the Israeli championship with Maccabi the year before. He spent the past Corona season in the Japanese capital Tokyo, his average in the B1 League for Toyota Alvark was 16.6 points and 4.7 rebounds.
Two years a top performer at Panathinaikos
"Last season in Japan was an adventure, but I quickly had the EuroLeague back in my mind afterwards, it was a must for me," said Thomas, who is currently still with his family in his Columbus, Ohio, home. "Munich is a very good opportunity for me now. Because they were just one shot away from the Final Four last time and that's what it's going to be about again: These close battles in the EuroLeague with a strong organization, that's what I like. I certainly bring some experience, but above all I'm a guy who stands for cohesion, who is a hard worker and who wants to win. I can score, but I fight just as hard for the rebound and on defense. I know Coach Trinchieri has a lot of switching going on - and I think that goes very well with my passion and my will."
The 6ft6 U.S. forward, who can be used at the three and four positions, was selected as pick number 58 by San Antonio in the 2013 NBA Draft; he played for the Spurs in the NBA Summer League that summer (as well as in 2014) (12.4 ppg), and then made his professional debut overseas, for the then French EuroLeague starter Nanterre. He won his first trophy there, the French Cup.
This season drew the attention of FC Barcelona (8.0 ppg) and the Spurs again the following summer, but they left him on a short-term contract with the D-League farm team in Austin (14.6 ppg).
"A top-level combo forward with a lot of variability and experience."
From then on, Thomas concentrated on the EuroLeague, where he finally advanced to become a real top performer via Efes (8.5 ppg), Maccabi (11.5 ppg) and finally in the two seasons at the next heavyweight Panathinaikos (15.1 ppg). His interim record after 161 EuroLeague games: an average of 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and a shooting percentage of around 47 percent.
"Deshaun is a combo forward who will give us a lot of variability and experience at a top level," said Bayern sports director Daniele Baiesi. "He has played for big clubs and knows what it takes to be successful. We are happy that he has chosen us."
In the NCAA, Deshaun Thomas had played for the Ohio State Buckeyes, excelling in his final year as a junior with 19.5 points and 5.8 rebounds. Deshaun Thomas is married and the father of three boys, the youngest is three months old.
DESHAUN THOMAS (*29. August 1991, Fort Wayne, Indiana/USA)
Small Forward/Power Forward – 6ft6 – 230 lbs
Until 2010: Bishop Luers High School, Fort Wayne
2010 –2013: Ohio State University (NCAA)
2013 – 2014: JSF Nanterre (FRA)
2014 – 2015: FC Barcelona (ESP)
2015 – 2016: Austin Spurs (NBA D-League)
2016 – 2017: Anadolu Efes Istanbul (TUR)
2017 – 2018: Maccabi Tel Aviv (ISR)
2018 – 2020: Panathinaikos Athen (GRE)
2020 – 2021: Toyota Alvark Tokyo (JPN)
Awards and achievements:
Greek championship 2019
Greek Cup 2019
Israeli Championship 2018
Israeli League Cup 2017
French Cup 2014
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff championship 2012 (NCAA)
First-team All-Big Ten Team 2013 (NCAA)
Preseason All-Big Ten Team 2013 (NCAA)
Second-team All-Big Ten Team 2012 (NCAA)
AP Indiana All-Century team 2010 (High School)
Indiana Mr. Basketball 2010 (High School)