CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII SPORTS) - His name has been called over the American Bank Center speakers for the past four years.
Thursday… his name may be called out by the commissioner of the NBA, making Rashawn Thomas the first player from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to be drafted.
Or his name may not be called at all.
Either way, he’s ready to play.
“My life is gonna change soon but I don’t know if tomorrow is gonna be the exact date.” Thomas told 3Sports.
“To me, being drafted it would be a great accomplishment for me and my ego. It’d be huge. But I feel like I’m still gonna get the opportunity to play in the NBA whether I’m drafted or not.
“I already know, I’ve gotten interest from teams so even if I go undrafted I’m gonna have offers from plenty of teams to play and in training camps. For me it’s not about the hype of the draft. It’s about being ready the longevity of the game.”
How does it feel to get interest from teams that you grew up rooting for and watching on TV?
“You spend your whole life working towards this goal right here. When the time comes everything is piled up on you and then you look up and it’s you they’re looking at. It’s you they’re talking about. It hasn’t all hit me yet but I feel like once I really sit back and look at it I’ll realize how blessed I am.
When did you know that this was a possibility for you?
“I believe that I could play as soon as I stepped on campus. I came in to A&M-Corpus Christi believing that I was going to be a pro basketball player. As time went on it just got realer and realer. I had to have that pro mentality all the time and that’s what I stuck with and that’s why I’m here today. “
Even though he’s always had the confidence and the game to be a pro, there was still plenty of growing for Thomas to do. A suspension his senior year, and he was third in the nation in technical fouls his junior year.
All opportunities to grow. He became the school’s all time leading scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker, breaking 18 total records.
“You can’t really learn from anything unless you fail,” Thomas said.
“There has been times when you have mental lapses or errors and you’re not really aware of that’s going on around you so you’re just reacting off pure emotion and not really thinking things through. That’s one of the perks of being in college four years. You kind of get to grow as a person and your character gets to mold and solid up.”
“I play as hard and passionate from motivations from family. Motivated to (go pro to) change your life for your family. Your mom your brothers your sisters. Everybody that looks up to you.”
“As you play you become an image. People look up to you. That becomes another motivating factor. You’re not playing for yourself. That’s why I say bigger than me.”
You’re gonna get a phone call from an NBA GM in about 24-48 hours. What is that feeling going to feel like once you pick up the phone?
“I don’t know if there’s any one feeling to do justice to that moment. It’s just going to be surreal. Once you look back on it all the work that’s put you in this position in life. Just blessed man I’m just gonna feel blessed. “
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