Five things you may not know about Lance Thomas
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
1) He’s one of three current New Orleans Pelicans who won an NCAA championship (the others are 2011-12 Kentucky players Anthony Davis and Darius Miller). Thomas was a starting forward for the 2009-10 Duke team that edged Butler in the title game. Including the recently-added Arinze Onuaku, Thomas is one of seven Pelicans roster members who played four years in college. Five New Orleans players spent a year in college: Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Austin Rivers.
2) Like a handful of other members of the Pelicans, Thomas has experience with either USA Basketball or international hoops competition. Thomas was chosen to be part of the D-League Select team in 2012. Meanwhile, New Orleans teammates Davis, Holiday and Ryan Anderson participated in the 2013 USA Basketball minicamp; Eric Gordon was on the USA team that won gold at the 2010 FIBA world championships; Al-Farouq Aminu is an active member of Nigeria’s national team, which competed in the 2012 Olympics.
3) Thomas lives year-round in downtown New Orleans. On Valentine’s Day, Thomas showed his love for Crescent City basketball fans by purchasing French fries for them at the McDonald’s restaurant on Canal Street. On Feb. 13, Thomas had missed a late-game free throw vs. Portland that would’ve given New Orleans the necessary 100 points that allows all spectators to pick up fries at local McDonald’s eateries. The 78.5 percent career foul shooter decided to make it up to fans by purchasing the fries himself.
4) A New York City native, Thomas loves to fish, which is also one of Pelicans head coach Monty Williams’ favorite off-the-court hobbies.
5) Despite having played just two seasons in the NBA, Thomas is the Pelicans’ sixth-oldest player at 25 years old (he’ll turn 26 during the 2014 playoffs). Only Greg Stiemsma, Anthony Morrow, Brian Roberts, Jason Smith and Onuaku are older than Thomas. Thomas was born 12 days before Anderson in 1988.