Deon Thomas hired as Illini radio analyst

Deon Thomas hired to join Brian Barnhart on Illini hoops radio broadcasts.

CHAMPAIGN -- The Illini officially announced on Wednesday that former hoops great Deon Thomas will be the radio analyst for the Fighting Illini Sports Network during the 2016-17 basketball season.

Thomas is the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,129 points during his career between 1991-94. He was a three-time winner of team MVP, and he was an All-Big Ten selection during all four years. Thomas has his No. 25 jersey in the rafters of the State Farm Center among other Illini greats.

Thomas recently served as an assistant coach at UIC, but he is excited to return to Champaign to serve in this role.

"I am a lifelong Illini with great love and passion for my school, so it is a tremendous honor to be added to the Fighting Illini radio team," Thomas said in a release. "I am excited for the upcoming season and can't wait to help broadcast the games to our loyal fans."

Thomas replaces Jerry Hester, who was Illinois hoops' radio analyst for 11 years.

"It is a privilege to be able to add such an accomplished player like Deon Thomas to our radio team," General Manager of Fighting Illini Sports Properties Randy Younker said. "This is a coveted position, and we feel that Deon will be a great complement to Brian Barnhart on our broadcasts. I'd also like to acknowledge the outstanding work that Jerry Hester did these last 11 years, and fully understand and appreciate his desire to commit more free time to his family. Jerry has set a high bar for Deon as the torch is passed from one teammate to the next on our network."

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