Privateers men’s basketball inks Link Year Prep’s MJ Thomas to NLI

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MJ Thomas

NEW ORLEANS – One of the top forwards out of Texas is heading to New Orleans as MJ Thomas becomes the third player to officially join the fall class of 2024, signing his National Letter of Intent with the Privateers program Friday.

“M.J. is a student-athlete that we began recruiting at the first opportunity when he was in high school. This has been a three plus year recruiting process with a lot of planning and hard work. He is a student-athlete that has won at every stop playing for his father at both Calvert and Denton High School and now at Link Year,” said Head Coach Mark Slessinger.

“He has the factors needed to help make winning plays and decisions. He is a tremendous athlete who can play multiple positions and be a dynamic playmaker for us on both ends of the court. M.J. is a great student-athlete who will add so much to our campus and city.”

Thomas (6-7, 220 lbs.), currently at Link Year Prep Academy, dominated at both Calvert and Denton HS in Texas averaging 17 points and 13.4 rebounds per game his senior year.

Thomas was ranked #27 on out of nearly 70 players who scored over 2,000 points during their career in Texas. Thomas racked up 2,323 points over his high school career and reached over 1,500 career rebounds.

“The reason I chose New Orleans is because they believed in me first, and I want to impact the program in a generational way. I feel comfortable playing the game I love there,” said Thomas.
“The people in New Orleans are caring and supportive. Being there felt like a good place to enhance your brand and grow outside of basketball too!”

Under the coaching of his father Michael Thomas, M.J. spent his first three years at Calvert and posted a 78-8 record during that span. MJ helped his father’s team reach the Class 1A state championship game his junior year. That same year, Thomas was selected as All-State, State MVP and ESPN Texas Top 25. MJ considered offers from OSU, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Hofstra, and Old Dominion before selecting New Orleans.

Thomas will join sophomores Omarion Henry and Mason Jones on the team next year who are also products of Link Year Prep.

Fans are encouraged to follow @PrivateersHoops on Twitter, @PrivateersMBB on Instagram, like /PrivateersMBB on Facebook and subscribe to the PrivateerAthletics YouTube channel.

For 54 seasons, Privateer student-athletes have had the unique experience of wearing New Orleans across their chests. Like the city itself, our sports teams have been fueled by resiliency, grit, and the unquenchable desire to win. Our city also houses the nation’s biggest celebration each year. And much like a Mardi Gras parade krewe, we are tethered to our community through pride, tradition, a culture of acceptance, and finally our commitment to show that New Orleans is a world-class city to live, learn, play and work. We invite you to become more involved with the only University that truly represents New Orleans all day, every day. Join #NOLAsTeam, We Are Your Krewe!

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