Where Are They Now?
Xavier basketball is more popular now than ever, but the program has always attracted a litany of talented and touted players. Some have gone on to the professional ranks; others have simply gone on. As this year’s season gets underway, we tracked down some former players to find out what they’ve been doing in the years since they left campus. Here we check in with Steve Thomas. You can find links to other profiles at the bottom of the page.
STEVE THOMAS '56
At 2:30 one recent September morning, Steve Thomas sat perfectly still holding his newborn granddaughter. It was an atypical moment for a type A man, and it reminded him of the day he held his daughter, Callie, 26 years earlier. It also provided him with a perspective on life. “The older you get, the faster time goes,” he says.
Thomas was always on the go. After graduating, the 6-foot All-American ran his way up the corporate ladder, sprinting from sales to management at Fifth Third Bank, then to double-bypass surgery in 1995 and retirement two years later. Now 62, he spends his days trying to slow down and keep fit by running on a treadmill and playing golf.
He looks back on his playing days with fondness and just a little remorse. A rising star, he blew out his right knee halfway into his senior year, during which he scored the most single-game points ever at Xavier—50 against the University of Detroit. The record still stands, but the knee didn’t. It failed again, ending his Xavier career and robbing him of a tryout with the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals. The injury, which led to five surgeries and will soon require a complete knee replacement, nixed his shot at the big time.
“I had a great career,” he says, “and I can say I would have made it in the pros.”
It’s something to tell his granddaughter.