(Courtesy: IU Athletics) IU Men’s Basketball Statement:
“The Indiana University men’s basketball family is devastated to learn of the passing of 1987 National Champion Daryl Thomas. Our prayers go out to his family, friends, teammates and coaches and all others who he had an impact on throughout his life.”
Archie Miller Statement
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Hoosier legend and National Champion Daryl Thomas. He was beloved by his teammates and coaches. Our prayers go out to his wife, Marta, his children, and the Montini Catholic High School Community he served.”
Daryl Thomas, who helped lead the Indiana University men’s basketball team to the 1987 NCAA Championship, has passed away at the age of 52. Thomas, a native of Westchester, Illinois, played for the Hoosiers from 1983-87 and was a team captain in 1986 and 1987 for Coach Bob Knight. The 1987 squad also won the Big Ten title.
An All-Big Ten pick as a junior and senior, Thomas scored 20 points in the Hoosiers NCAA title win over Syracuse and dished the game-winning assist to Keith Smart who hit a jumper to give IU the 74-73 victory. He is ranked 47th all-time in career scoring with 1,095 points and averaged 10.3 points in 106 career games.
He averaged 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds as a senior and 14.5 points and 4.7 rebounds as a junior. He also averaged 13 minutes per game on the 1984 team which advanced to the Elite Eight and stunned #1 North Carolina in the NCAA Regional Semifinal.
Thomas came to IU from St. Joseph’s High School, the same school that produced Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas (no relation). A McDonald’s All-American, he battled a knee injury as a senior and averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds. He was a two-time first team All-State choice in Illinois and was a Parade Magazine All-American. He played for legendary Coach Gene Pingatore.
Thomas and his 1987 teammates returned to Assembly Hall in December of 2011 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their National Championship.
A 1987 graduate of IU, he was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the sixth round of the 1987 NBA Draft and played professionally in Europe and South America for 13 years.
He later spent eight years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, St. Joseph’s and had been the head coach at Montini Catholic High School since 2015. He also served as Lead Instructor, Player Development for the Sox/Bulls Academy which is located in Lisle and LaGrange in suburban Chicago.
He and his wife, Marta, had three children, Kayla, Kyle and Adam and resided in Bolingbrook.