Iowa State sophomore Matt Thomas made his YMCA Capital City League debut on Wednesday night and with that, it was the first time that he spoke publicly following his OWI arrest from two weeks ago.
“I want to apologize to my school, my team, my teammates, my coaches and back home to my family and friends and obviously my community,” Thomas said. “I have a ton of support back in Onalaska and the La Crosse community. I feel like I let a lot of people down but this is going to make me a stronger person. I think it already has. I learned a lot and I think it is going to be a turning point in my life. Right now it isn’t fun but I think in time, I will probably look back and be glad it happened because it is going to push me in the right direction. It will help me go to where I want to go in my life.”
Thomas, 19, was arrested on June 14 at 1:49 a.m. and is currently suspended indefinitely due to the school’s student-conduct code. He scored 30 points in his CCL debut. Thomas, who averaged 5.5 points per game as a freshman, said that he learned a lot from the experience.
“Later in life, I wouldn’t mind talking to middle school and high school kids about my experience of being a Division 1 basketball player,” Thomas said. “You aren’t invincible at all. You can get picked up. You can get arrested. I have been through it now and I kind of thought at the time when you listen to speakers that come to your school and what not, you think, ‘that will never happen to me.’ Even when it happened to Abdel (Nader), I thought, ‘I won’t let this happen to me.’ And then it does and reality hits you. It just really was a reality check in my life and I think I have straightened things out now.”