Marcus Thornton to Play in Australian National Basketball League

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Courtesy TribeAthletics.com
Courtesy TribeAthletics.com

William & Mary alumnus Marcus Thornton will be taking his talents Down Under, signing a contract with the Sydney Kings of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) for the 2015-16 season.

After being drafted in the second round by the Boston Celtics in June’s NBA Draft, Thornton overcame a slow start to his NBA Summer League stint to finish with a 21-point performance against the Miami Heat in Las Vegas.

Thornton’s Summer League performance was not enough to warrant a spot on the Boston Celtics roster –at least not yet.

Because the Celtics own the rights to Thornton for one year after his time with the Kings comes to a close, there is a chance William & Mary’s all-time leading scorer could find himself donning a green and white uniform for Boston.

Because the NBL plays a 28-game regular season that runs from October through February – the NBA season runs through April – it is possible Thornton could come back and play in the NBA Development League or even make the Celtics roster for the remainder of the season.

Until then, Thornton will focus on continuing to develop his skill set in a budding league that is actively trying to recruit NBA-caliber players.

In a news release from the Kings, Coach Damian Cotter praised Thornton’s skill set on and off the court.

“Marcus’ versatility, athleticism and skill set are going to cause matchup problems for opponents, and he’ll be coming in to a situation where he will have the opportunity to lead a very talented team,” Cotter said. “There has been a great deal of research done on Marcus and after watching him in the Summer League and during his time in college, he is a perfect fit – both in character and as a player.”

Thornton is expected to join the Sydney Kings for preseason workouts in late August.

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