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Joel Osborne

Joel Osborne writes

Posted Wednesday, July 31st 2019

I've heard nothing but great things - Thomas

Gentrey Thomas says former guard Doug Herring played a part in his decision to make the switch to Bristol Flyers.

The 26-year-old combo guard joins Coach Kapoulas’ squad from the Moncton Magic of the Canadian NBL, where he played alongside Herring, after earning NBLC All-Rookie honours last season, posting 9.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

He follows in the footsteps of fan favourite Herring, who made 12 appearances for the Flyers in 2014/15, before a season-ending injury cut his time short in the West Country. 

Doug Herring made 12 appearances for the Flyers in 2014/15, averaging 18.0 points and 4.3 assists per game
“Doug is my guy - I spoke to him before I signed and he gave me a lot of insight into the club, which helped me lean towards the Flyers,” Thomas revealed.

“He said that it will be a great opportunity for me to develop as a player so It seemed like my kind of place.”

Signing with the Flyers is just the latest achievement in an incredible rise to stardom for Thomas. After graduating high school, his cousin Dillon Brooks, who plays his trade in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, brought him along to a summer tournament in Nevada against some of the top recruits in the country. It was at one of those tournaments that Thomas was offered a scholarship to the prestigious Orangeville Prep and Athlete Institute.

"Me and Dillon grew up together. My mum and his dad are brother and sister, so we’ve been around each other my whole life,” said Thomas.

“We used to spend summers together just playing basketball and he was one of the guys who got me playing against top Canadian players like Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis and Xavier Mays. I’ve played with a lot of NBA guys throughout my life and Dillon helped me get there.

"He still helps me to this day - I talk to him here and there when he’s not too busy with the NBA, because he’s trying to get his body right for next season.

"He called me when we won the championship last year in Moncton and we’re really close. I haven’t told him that I’ve signed with the Flyers just yet. But he knows that it’s always been an ambition of mine to play European basketball.

Thomas went the junior college route to obtain a NCAA Division One scholarship, playing two seasons at Snow College in Utah before earning offers from Division One schools.

Following a two-year spell with UC Riverside, he signed with the Magic in 2018 and went on to play a key role in last season’s championship-winning team, making 46 appearances, featuring 10 times in the starting line-up.

Thomas now faces a new challenge with the Bristol Flyers, as he fulfils a lifelong ambition to play professionally in Europe.

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