Thomas' Jersey Legend Grows

New York Panthers program director Gary Charles has seen many great players pass through his program over the last two decades. He states that Lance Thomas is certainly among the best his program has ever had ...

New York Panthers program director Gary Charles has seen many great athletes and basketball players pass through his AAU team over the past two decades. One of his first great players was Zendon Hamilton, a center who eventually landed at St. John's and eventually in the NBA.

His most recent team featured the hard-working talents of Lance Thomas, a 6-foot-8 forward who also polished his craft at St. Benedict's in Newark, New Jersey. "He's one of the best we had," Charles said. "He works so hard and never gives up on any loose ball. He's going to be a great player in the ACC."

Thomas has given a commitment to Duke but it was much closer than most believe when Lance made his decision. "I thought he was going to Rutgers," recalled Charles. "Eugene (Harvey) and him had spoken about going to Rutgers together and it looked like Eugene was going to Rutgers.

"So when Lance was ready to make his announcement, we asked Eugene if he was still going to Rutgers. And Eugene said he wasn't sure which was a surprise to us. So Lance decided he was going with the sure decision and went to Duke."

Harvey eventually chose Seton Hall a week after Lance made his official announcement in favor of Duke University.

Charles said that the recent controversy involving the Duke Lacrosse team has not changed Lance's thoughts on Duke at all. Thomas is all set to compete for Coach K's basketball program.

Charles lists Thomas among his top 12 players to wear a Panthers' uniform. The Panthers program officially began in 1992 but had some roots being grown as way back as 1988. The complete list of the 12 players will be later published on this site.

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