Former Emporia State forward Hassan Thomas signs Portuguese pro deal

EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - For the first time since 2016, a former Emporia State Hornet men's basketball player is getting a professional opportunity.

Former ESU forward Hassan Thomas has signed a contract with Sampaense Basket of Portugal Proliga. The last Hornet to get a pro deal was Terrence Moore, who signed with FOG Naestved in Denmark following the 2016 season.

"I'm very excited to get the opportunity to play professionally," Thomas said in a release. "This has been something I've dreamt of since I was a child, so it is crazy to see my dream become reality.

"Portugal is a beautiful country, having a chance to live in Europe and play the game I love is amazing. The team and staff has been very welcoming, and are very excited as well."

Thomas spent two years with Emporia State. Last season, he led the team in rebounds (155) and blocks (21) while also shooting 35% from three and averaging nine points per game.

"Hassan made huge progress throughout his two-year career at Emporia State which ultimately allowed him to earn a pro contract," ESU head coach Craig Doty said. "Hassan proved to be an effective big inside the paint and behind the arc. It's tough to find big men who are as athletic as Hassan and who also have range to 25 feet."