While the eyes of most NBA fans are on the ongoing NBA play-off tournament, there is still important news happening elsewhere in the league.
The Detroit Pistons announced their team camp this month as they returned from their short offseason. Among the names that were added to the roster were some names that will be familiar to UNO fans.
Former Mavericks standouts Tra-Deon Hollins and Treshawn Thurman were listed as being two of five players who were called up to join the Piston’s roster.
Both Hollins and Thurman played at UNO, with Hollins graduating in 2017 and Thurman playing his last year at UNO that same season before transferring to Nevada. While at UNO, the pair were integral parts of the Maverick’s first run to the Summit League men’s basketball title game. Omaha came up just short against South Dakota State in the finals, but that season served as an announcement that UNO basketball was a forced to be reckoned within the Summit League.
Both Hollins and Thurman left their mark in the UNO history books as well, as Thurman finished as one of the Maverick’s Top 25 all-time scorers with 1,164 points. Hollins meanwhile sits atop the all-time school record for steals, with 235 career steals.
After leaving school, Hollins and Thurman ended up playing together on the Grand Rapids Drive, the NBA G-League team of the Detroit Pistons. Both stood out there, as Hollins continued to show his defensive prowess and led the league in steals per game during the 2019-2020. Meanwhile, Thurman averaged 7.7 points again for the Drive.
While the former UNO pair has most likely been called up as way to add more numbers for practices and scrimmages, this will serve as a way for Hollins and Thurman to show what they can do against NBA talent. Should the two make the team, they will have completed a rare feat: being teammates together at nearly every single level of college basketball. The two played together in high school at Central High school in Omaha, in college at UNO, in the G-League with the Drive and hopefully one day they’ll play in the NBA with the Pistons.
Hollins and Thurman are not the only former Omaha high school standout though who are in camp with the Pistons right now. Former Benson player Khyri Thomas and former Omaha North player Justin Patton are participating too. Regardless of who ends up being on the team and who doesn’t, this offseason has been one of note for basketball players from the city of Omaha.