Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ex-Jayhawk Thomas signs with Wizards


— Former Kansas University basketball player Billy Thomas is back in the NBA.

Thomas signed a 10-day contract with the Washington Wizards on Friday, but the 6-foot-5 guard was inactive for Friday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas played with the Wizards during their 2004 training camp and again during the 2005 preseason.

"Billy is a veteran player who is very familiar with our system," Wizards director of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld said.

Thomas previously was with the Wizards from Oct. 1 to Oct. 30, 2004, spanning training camp and the 2004-05 preseason, and again from Oct. 3-27, 2005. Prior to signing with the Washington Wizards, Thomas played for the Dakota Wizards and the Sioux Falls Skyforce during the 2005-06 CBA season. Most recently at Sioux Falls, Thomas averaged 16.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and connected on 43.1 percent of his three-point field goal attempts.

Thomas played in 25 games with the New Jersey Nets last season. He was signed to a pair of 10-day contracts by New Jersey (Jan. 20 and Jan. 31, 2005) before signing with the Nets for the remainder of the 2004-05 season Feb. 10. He scored a career-high 14 points versus the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 9, 2005.

KU now has 10 players in the NBA. The others: Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce, Boston; Jacque Vaughn, New Jersey; Scot Pollard, Indiana; Drew Gooden, Cleveland; Greg Ostertag, Utah; Kirk Hinrich, Chicago; Nick Collison, Seattle; Wayne Simien, Miami.


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