Often, Stories Beyond the Scores takes you off the fields and courts.
The competitive, in-game, exploits of Henry (Hank) Irving Thomas, Jr., were simply…adequate.
Across three seasons and 65 Bradley University basketball games, Hank Thomas averaged fewer than two points, two assists, and one-half rebound per game. Yet, when Thomas left this world at the age of sixty-four, he was one of the National Basketball Association’s most accomplished professionals. Unremarkable.
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, Mr. Thomas completed both an LLM in Taxation, and a Juris Doctorate at DePaul University. Hank then began his professional career as a Tax Specialist at the firm now known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, and later joined the prominent Chicago law firm Carney & Brothers.
In 1989, Thomas started his own management company, Thomas Sports Management, TSM, engaging a number of high-profile NBA clients.
Thirteen years later, Thomas sold TSM to Chicago-based CSMG, and began working as both company president and agent for prominent NBA players like Michael Finley, Dwyane Wade, and Udonis Haslem. His management of Wade and Bosh put him at the center of the Miami Heat’s “Big Three”—Bosh, Wade, and LeBron James—as they moved toward three NBA championships.
By 2009, Thomas transitioned to the sports division of Creative Artists Agency, to manage his previous clients and welcome Peoria’s Shaun Livingston and Bradley’s Anthony Parker into his stable of professional athletes.
Successful athletes toil long hours in practice, and face daunting in-game challenges, but their lives are also defined by their off-the court and field endeavors. Hank Thomas leveraged his love for athletics into life-long excellence.
Until next time, for Stories Beyond the Scores, I’m Chris Reynolds.
Henry Thomas Collegiate Statistics,
McClinton, Beth. CCA sports via BusinessWire. “Top Basketball Agent Henry Thomas Joins CAA Sports.” (2009, August 17).
Reynolds, Dave. (2018, January 28). “Former Bradley Brave and NBA agent Henry Thomas dies at 64”. Peoria Journal Star, October 30, 2018.
Henry Thomas’s Obituary,