Entering his third season as an assistant coach for the Shawnee State men’s basketball team, Delano Thomas brings a wealth of basketball experience, not only as a coach, but also as one of the most prolific players in Shawnee State history.
Thomas played for the Bears from 2002-2004, and ranks among the top of several categories in the program. A First Team NAIA All-American during the 2003-04 campaign and AMC Player of the Year recepient, Thomas ranks first in the program in blocked shots (148), first in rebounds per game average (11.5), 14th in scoring average per game (13.6) and 14th in assists per game (2.1).
A Columbus, Ohio, native, Thomas propelled his successful college campaign into a professional career spanning nine years and six countries across South America, Asia and Europe. In 2008-09, he was part of a Norwegian squad that won the BLNO Championship in Norway’s top professional basketball league. Thomas has also spent seasons in Portugal, Syria, Brazil, Uruguay and Germany.
During his time overseas, Thomas also gained valuable coaching experience. In 2007, he was the head coach of Montevideo High School in Uruguay where he led the squad to a 22-10 record. The following year, he was the head coach of Ulriken Elite in Norway for the U21, U18, and U14 boys, as well as the U14 girls’ squad.
From 2012-14, Thomas was the head coach for the U15 boys and girls of Ulriken Ung., in Norway. During his time there, he led the girls’ squad to a second place finish in the Bergen Region and a silver medal in the Hansa Cup. The boys side finished as the bronze medalists.
Thomas also has a plethora of work experience across the globe under the basketball umbrella. In 2010, he worked for the After-School All-Stars as the Administer of Sports Development in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was responsible for using athletics to relate to everyday life-skills. In 2014, he was the Activity Consultant for the Norges Basketballforbund in Oslo, Norway. Here, Thomas was tasked with recruiting young athletes from schools, organizing clinics and educating new coaches with practice plans.
In his first season with the Bears, Thomas' work with the big men at SSU has already paid dividends. Nick Tingle recorded 28 blocks on the season and recorded a .546 field goal percentage, with the latter stat ranking 12th for a Shawnee State player in a single season. Jacob Daniels also benefitted from Thomas' tutelage, as the junior presently sits ninth all-time in offensive rebounding average in the program's history.
Thomas also utilized his defensive knowledge of the game to push the 2014-15 team to greater heights defensively, as Shawnee State set single-season records for defensive rebounds (948), scoring defense (57.6), defensive field goal percentage (.373), and defensive three-point field goal percentage (.279) last season.
Thomas attended high school at Beechcroft High School in Columbus, and attended Clark State Community College for two years before concluding his final two years of college basketball at Shawnee State. He holds an Associate’s Degree from SSU, and is currently working to finish his Bachelor’s Degree in Individualized Studies.