JAHAD THOMAS SET TO BEGIN PRO CAREER IN UKRAINIAN SUPERLEAGUE
LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell men’s basketball standout Jahad Thomas(Williamsport, Pa.) has signed his first professional contract with BC Zaporizhya of the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague.
“I’m just looking forward to starting my professional career,” said the 2018 UMass Lowell graduate. “I’m really excited that this is the next step and feel blessed to be able to continue to play basketball.”
The SuperLeague represents the highest tier of professional basketball in Ukraine. Thomas was looked at by teams in several countries, including Portugal and Korea, but says the Ukrainian league offered the best opportunity for starting out his career.
“I’ve really put an emphasis on shooting this whole summer, so I’m very confident in that,” he commented when asked about the different style of play overseas. “I don’t really feel too much pressure, I’m just going to go out there and play my game.”
Thomas ended his collegiate career as the most prolific Division I player the River Hawks have seen. The Williamsport, Pa. native was a three-time, All-America East honoree, as well as the program’s first-ever Division I NABC All-District selection.
He finished his tenure ranked seventh on UMass Lowell’s all-time scoring list with 1,864 points and third with 862 rebounds. He is just the fourth player in school history to amass more than 1,800 points and 800 rebounds, and the only one to do so at the Division I level. Thomas owns nine of the program’s Division I records, as well.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity Jahad has earned to play professionally,” said UMass Lowell Head Coach Pat Duquette. “Nobody I have ever coached has worked harder than him to achieve his goals.”
In his senior season, Thomas averaged an America East-best 21.1 points per game, a mark that ranked 28th in the nation. In doing so, he became just the second Division I player in the last 25 years to average 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and 1.5 steals per game in a single season.
MAIOLA SIGNS WITH USPBL’S UTICA UNICORNS
LOWELL, Mass. — Former UMass Lowell outfielder Colby Maiola (North Reading, Mass.) has signed a professional contract with the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, based in suburban Detroit.
In two years as a River Hawk, Maiola made 100 starts in 101 appearances and batted .302 with 109 hits. He connected on 13 home runs and drove 73 while crossing the plate 76 times himself. With 36 extra-base hits the North Reading, Mass. native recorded a .490 slugging percentage.
After transferring from Northern Essex Community College in 2016, Maiola was named to the America East All-Conference Second Team and All-NEIBA Third Team in 2017 following his team-leading .331 average, 56 hits and 36 RBI. The center fielder earned a spot on the America East Second-Team, becoming the first UMass Lowell to make two consecutive All-Conference Second Teams since joining the America East.
Helping led the River Hawks to their America East Championship appearance, Maiola led the team with 19 stolen bases while scoring 42 runs and driving in 37. The senior was second in the lineup with 37 RBI, third in seven homers and legged out a team-high four triples
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