Albany's James Thomas Named CBA Newcomer of the Year

March 14, 2006 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1) News Release

Boise, ID (March 14, 2006) - The Continental Basketball Association announced today that Albany Patroons forward James Thomas has been named the CBA Newcomer of the Year for the 2005-06 season, as voted on by the eight CBA head coaches. Thomas garnered five of the possible eight first-place votes from the coaches, finishing with 25 total points.

Thomas, originally drafted as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 CBA College Draft by the Yakama Sun Kings, signed with Albany on Dec. 23, 2005. The 2004 University of Texas alum made the Philadelphia 76ers' 2005 opening-night roster and played in 15 games, averaging 1.5 points and 2.1 rebounds, before being released. He recently received a 10-day call-up by the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 27, appearing in seven games and averaging 3.7 minutes with 1.1 rebounds per game. Over the past two seasons, Thomas has played in 33 NBA games for Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Portland.

He appeared in 19 games this season for the Patroons, just short of the 24-game minimum required to be listed among the CBA league leaders. The 6-foot-8 forward has registered 17 double-doubles this season, averaging 19.6 points and 14.6 rebounds on the year. Thomas played in this year's 22nd CBA All-Star Classic on Jan. 17 for the Eastern Conference squad, scoring 17 points with a game-high 16 rebounds in 35 minutes of action.

Albany is the sixth seed overall for the 2006 CBA Playoffs, which begin tonight in Yakima, Wash. The Patroons begin their postseason on Wednesday, March 15, at Sioux Falls before returning to New York for a home game against Idaho on Saturday, March 18. Albany then plays at the Yakama Sun Kings on Tuesday, March 21.

Gary's Randy Holcomb garnered two first-place votes and finished second in the voting for the 2006 Newcomer of the Year with 17 total points. Sioux Falls' Corey Williams recorded one first-place vote and was third with 11 total points.

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