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Leaps and bounds: Thomas gets the jump on competition

Brownsburg senior Pierce Thomas made his mark in basketball and hopes to reach the state track meet this spring. (Photo by Dave Gansert).

By Mark Ambrogi

Pierce Thomas came to his basketball career quite naturally.

The Brownsburg High School senior’s mother Amy Brauman was an Indiana All-Star at Brownsburg and then played three seasons at Illinois State and one season at Marian University. His father, Rich Thomas, played at Illinois State. Brauman, an Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer, coached the girls basketball team at Brownsburg for eight seasons from 2007-15. His older brother Reis played for Brownsburg. Younger sister Quinci was a sophomore starter for the Class 4A state runner-up Brownsburg girls team this past season.

The 6-foot-6-inch Thomas, a guard/forward, averaged 21.6 points and 5.7 rebounds as a senior for the Bulldogs (13-9). As a junior, he averaged 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists for a Brownsburg team that won the sectional before the postseason was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic

“Pierce is a team-first guy who possesses the intangibles that we look for,” Butler coach LaVall Jordan said when he signed. “He has good size, competitiveness and elite athleticism that will allow him to defend multiple positions.”

Thomas was the state champion in the long jump and eighth in the state in the 200 meters in 2019. He’s ready to make a mark this year after the 2020 season was canceled.

“In nine years of coaching, I have not come across a more talented athlete than Pierce Thomas,” Brownsburg track and field coach Casey Popenfoose said. “For track and field, any event we put him in he would excel. His speed and jumping ability combination are second to none.”                                                                                                                                                     

Thomas took part in a  Q&A with ICON:

What are your goals for this track and field season?

My personal goals are to improve in every event. Help to inspire my younger teammates and others as well as come away with a team state championship.

How important is this season after the 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic?

“Losing the track season was disappointing as collectively our team had a great shot at a team state championship. This year the goal is the same, and I believe we have the pieces to do it.”

Did you concentrate on improving your shooting during the quarantine period starting in March 2020.

“Yes, during the quarantine I really focused on improving my shooting and scoring as a whole.”

What was the key for you in choosing Butler University? 

“The culture and coaching staff of Butler sold me on wanting to play for the program. I have always respected and admired many aspects of the program and I’m honored to be able to have the opportunity to play for them this coming season. 

How much of an influence did your parents have since they both played in college?

“Having parents that played basketball in college helped to influence my love for the game early as well as helped me to have goals and things to strive for in the future.”

IU West Hospital
Athlete of the Week


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