Sports Wall of Fame

Thomas, Paul

Thomas, Paul
Full size image of plaque

Paul Thomas began a tremendous athletic career in the local leagues of Niagara Falls. He moved on to play basketball at N.F.C. V.I. where he had an out-standing career during the late 1940's. During the summer months after each basketball season, he would play in the Niagara District Baseball League. Paul eventually moved on to the Chicago Cubs farm system and played semi-professional baseball.
Paul then moved on to the University of Western Ontario where he was a member and captain of the varsity team which won four championships during the years 1946 -1950. In 1952, Paul was a member of the Men's National Basketball Team (as a player/ coach), which played at the Olympic games in Helsinki, Finland, becoming the first and youngest Olympic Basketball coach in Canada.
Following the Olympic Games in Finland, from 1952 -54, he was a member of the Toronto Tri-Balls. In his final year with the team, they went on to become semi- finalists in the Eastern Canadian Championships as well as the Senior Men's National Champions.
In 1955, Paul made the transition from being a player to a well recognized basketball coach at several universities. He began his coaching career at the University of Saskatchewan, moved on to the University of California and then settled at the University of Windsor. In 1972, Paul took the men's national basketball team to China to play in an exhibition tour.
Paul Thomas was the first All-Canadian Basketball player to come from Niagara Falls and still holds the local record for the most points scored by a single player in a Niagara Falls basketball game; the record stands at 59 points. He is presently a professor at the University of Windsor and is still involved with the men's basketball program. Paul Thomas was an athlete and coach who set standards for future athletes to strive for. 
 

Additional Images & Resources

 
Click to view a photograph taken at the Induction Ceremony  Click to view a photograph taken at the Induction Ceremony
From the library's image database (click the link to view the full record)

Title 11th annual Sports Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony - Paul Thomas Basketball
Creator  Simon, Pat
Notes  Image may not be reproduced without the written consent of the City of Niagara Falls, Parks, Recreation and Culture Department ; induction January 2000 ;
Date  January 16, 2000.
 
 
Scan from Sports Wall of Fame Brochure January 2000  Scan from Sports Wall of Fame Brochure January 2000
From the library's image database (click the link to view the full record)

Title Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame - Paul Thomas Basketball 1951-1970 era
Description  scan from book 14th Annual City of Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony ; date of photograph unknown ;
Notes  This image may not be reproduced without the written consent of the City of Niagara Falls Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture;
 
 
 
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