Where Are They Now? (Justus Thigpen)
Here's an article on Justus Thigpen I thought you might like to read. Apparently he is playing for a team in Ohio called the Cyclones!
Cyclones latest stop in whirlwind career
Thigpen has been around block in minor leagues
Friday, May 19, 2006
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
CHRIS RUSSELL DISPATCH
Cyclones player Justus Thigpen says heís satisfied with his long, but NBA-less, career in basketball.
Justus Thigpen was a big-time player at Iowa State in the early 1990s, good enough to dominate the college ranks but not quite what NBA scouts wanted.
Thigpenís NBA career reads like this at age 35: two 10-day contracts and two veteran training camps with the Utah Jazz, one 10-day contract with the Indiana Pacers.
And no NBA games played.
Thigpen, a guard, now plays for the Columbus Cyclones of the International Basketball League, the latest stop in a 12-year career spent mostly in the minor leagues and pro leagues overseas.
But if Thigpen is frustrated by his fate, he wonít admit it. And the longer he talks, the more you believe him.
"Iíve had a great career," he said with a wide smile. "I canít complain."
Thigpen has lived in Columbus since the fall of 1994, when he signed with the Columbus Horizon of the Continental Basketball Association.
His wife, Lachelle, works as a senior auditor with Huntington Banks, and he has a 3-year-old daughter, Alexis. He is, first and foremost, a family man.
"Itís like Alexis has always been here," Thigpen said. "I canít even imagine life without her. Itís the absolute best. My wife got a great job and we put our roots down. Weíre very happy here."
During the days, Thigpen works for 7-Up, setting up displays for retailers. By night, he practices and plays for the Cyclones, a first-year franchise in the 24-team IBL.
The Cyclones were 9-1 heading into their game last night against West Virginia. They play again at 7:15 tonight, against Holland, Mich., at Westerville North.
"Itís been a very good situation," Thigpen said. "With my career, Iíve seen a lot of things, been a lot of places, and this is one of the better setups Iíve been a part of. We have a really good team. Weíre going to win a lot of games this season."
Thigpen has a one-year contract that pays him about $5,000. That could be a bargain for the Cyclones.
The Cyclones have five players younger than 25. Many of them still have NBA dreams, along with the more realistic hope of signing a lucrative contract overseas.
"When we put the roster together, I wanted a blend of young kids," coach Dave Cecutti said. "But I also wanted somebody who had been at a high level in college, which Justus was at Iowa State, and I wanted somebody with a lot of background, a lot of knowledge. Heís mature enough to understand that heís at the tail end (of his career). But heís a tough competitor, and heís still an outstanding player."
Thigpen, the Cyclonesí first or second player off the bench, has played about 16 minutes per game.
"Itís a cycle," he said. "When I was coming through the loop, the older guys, they dropped the wisdom down to me. Iím at that stage now where Iím giving back to the young guys, warning them about the pitfalls, the stuff to watch out for."
Thigpen said the highlight of his career was his brief taste of the NBA.
"I practiced and played with John Stockton every day for some pretty long stretches," Thigpen said. "Let me tell you, that Stockton-to-Karl Malone combination was a beautiful sight. I hear some of these young guys who think they can step in there and do it in the NBA. I tell them itís not like going to the YMCA. Itís not pickup ball from 8 to 10. Itís a whole different world."
The NBA might be in Thigpenís rearview mirror, but the view in front of him is pretty good, too.
"Iím pretty content, man," Thigpen said. "I had a great career. Basketball brought a lot of great things to me. Iím totally satisfied."
Re: Where Are They Now? (Justus Thigpen)
"age 35"? Wow. I feel old. Thanks for posting the article!
"THE SKIES SHALL RAIN BLOOD AND ALL THE WORLD SHALL QUAKE IN THE SHADOW OF THE CARDINAL AND GOLD!"
Re: Where Are They Now? (Justus Thigpen)
He was so fun to watch....I am happy that he seems to be doing well...