Deon Thomas has landed a coaching gig at the University of Illinois. Just not in Urbana-Champaign. At the Chicago campus instead. When Assistant Coach Isaac Chew departed Illinois for Marquette, just weeks after he left Mizzou to join the Illini an assistant gig opened up under John Groce at Illinois.
Paris Parham filled the position instead ofFlorida State assistant Dennis Gates, Simeon Coach Robert Smith and Deon Thomas. All were considered candidates.
It was just announced minutes ago Illini fans, that Deon Thomas will be on Howard Moore’s staff at UIC.
Deon Thomas, a product of Chicago Simeon is the Illinois basketball all-time leading scorer and second all-time rebounder, starring in Champaign from 1990-94. He was selected by the Dallas Mavericks 28th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft. After attending Mavs mini camp, Thomas opted to play professional basketball in Europe and Israel instead of the NBA.
Deon Thomas is one of the most successful American pros of all time in the European leagues and passed on several opportunities to play in the NBA. Since 2009, he’s been the head coach at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois.
Said Moore: “Deon is a remarkable individual with many years of elite basketball experience. His knowledge of the game and his eye for talent is a tremendous addition for the Flames.”
Said Thomas: “I want to help put UIC basketball back on the map and win championships. I grew up near UIC and would walk past the university almost every day, so this is like a homecoming for me.”
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