February 3, 2021

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, with Deon Thomas

Episode 112:

University of Illinois’ all-time men’s basketball scoring leader Deon Thomas joined the UI development team as Associate Director of Development. Thomas works out of the Illini Center in Chicago.

Thomas starred for the Illini from 1991-94 and continues to rank as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,129 points. He earned All-Big Ten honors all four years as a player and was selected as a part of the University of Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

In his role, Thomas cultivates and solicits Chicago area donors, communicates DIA fundraising efforts and helps expand the Illini network in the Chicagoland area. He also serves as a liaison to the Fighting Illini men’s and women’s basketball alumni.

Thomas has served as a radio analyst for the Fighting Illini Sports Network and as a studio analyst for the Big Ten Network the past two seasons and intends to continue in both roles.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How compassion can help us not be so judgmental
  • What the impact was on Deon’s life growing up on the West Side of Chicago in The Village neighborhood
  • Who the five big influencers were in Deon Thomas’ life
  • What some of his Grandma’s most powerful quotes were that he still uses today
  • Why he loves giving working in development for the University of Illinois
  • Why diversity and inclusion are so important to our organizational and societal success
  • How he came to embrace the power of meaningful relationships
  • What his first memory of Coach Jimmy Collins was and how it impacted his future

Additional resources:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deon-thomas-844377a/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deon.thomas.25/
Twitter: @deonthomas25
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deon.thomas.940
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