Esh Group Eagles Newcastle have announced their sixth signing of the summer with the addition of Ahmad Thomas.
The 23-year-old guard begins his pro career with the Eagles following a record-breaking career out of the University of North Carolina-Asheville.
Thomas will fill a vital role in head coach Fab Flournoy’s new roster that is aiming to return Newcastle back to the top of the British basketball standings.
“We have looked exhaustively this summer for the right player and person to fit our ethos and succeed in the BBL,” said Flournoy.
“Ahmad comes off a successful college career where he has helped his team in every facet of the game. We look forward to welcoming him to Newcastle.”
Thomas’ four-year-stint at UNC-Asheville in the Big South Conference saw him end his tenure as the only player in the history of the Conference to have more than 1,500 points (1,626), 700+ rebounds, 250+ steals and 250+ assists.
He was also named as Conference Defensive Player of the Year in both 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons as well as being runner-up in the overall Player of the Year stakes on both occasions.
Averaging 16.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game in his senior season, Thomas likens his game to that of NBA defensive superstar Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.
“I am very excited and I want to first say thanks to the Eagles for giving me this opportunity,” he said.
“I now get to show a lot of teams why they missed a chance on a guy like me.
“I am coming from a winning college team and know Newcastle are used to winning and the fans expect that so I want to bring that spark plug to make things even better.
“I’ve heard great things about the Eagles from players who have played against the team, who wanted to be a part of the team and just hearing about the winning tradition made me smile.
“I think I bring another grit. I can guard different positions and I can score in different ways to my strengths. I’m not going to do something I have never done just because I am getting paid now. I’ll stick to my formula and do it well.
“I will be something unique and I am going to keep the same energy I have had since college but times two.”
The native of Danville, Virginia certainly brings a winning mentality to the Eagles’ camp having been part of a team that won the 2016 Conference Tournament and were 2017 and 2018 Conference Regular Season Champions.