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Dave Thomas



The second youngest of the six famous basketball-playing Thomas brothers, Dave led Onida High and South Dakota State to championships.

The 6-foot-6 forward was a three-year starter at SDSU. He was all-North Central Conference as well as all-district in 1972 and '73, teaming with Lee Colburn to lead Coach Jim Marking's Jackrabbits to the postseason both years. He averaged 19.1 points and 11.2 rebounds in 1972 and 21.9 points and 12.3 rebounds in '73. In 1973, he was second in the NCC in scoring and rebounding and was league MVP as the Jackrabbits won the NCC title. That year he also was the MVP of the Midwest Regional, where he had probably the greatest game in SDSU history, a school-record 44 points to go with 26 rebounds in a 107-104 loss to undefeated Coe (Iowa) College. The 44 points still is the school record. He finished his career No. 3 among Jackrabbit scorers (1,355 points) and No. 2 in rebounds (810). He also shot 52.6 percent from the field in his career.

Thomas was signed as a free agent by the Portland Trailblazers, surviving until the final cuts. He played in Europe for six months before entering medical school.

Thomas' family moved from Alexandria to Onida for his sophomore year of high school. A late bloomer, Thomas played on the "B" team until late in his junior season, when Coach Jerry Kassin made him a varsity starter. The Warriors went on to finish third in the state "B" that year as Thomas earned second-team all-state. As a senior, Thomas was first-team all-state and MVP of the state tourney as the Warriors went unbeaten and won the 1969 state "B" title, defeating De Smet 93-90 in one of the most memorable finals ever.

He also competed in football and track at Onida. As a senior, he was a defensive end for the second-ranked football team and ran hurdles and the 440 for a track team that finished second in Class B.

Dave is the second Thomas brother to enter the Sports Hall of Fame. John was inducted in 2008. Dave was inducted into the SDSU Hall of Fame in 1999.




























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