City College alum and current San Diego State University senior Malcolm Thomas made one of the biggest plays of his life when it mattered most.
With 45 seconds left in the second overtime, Thomas blocked the shot of Temples’ Lavoy Allen, sealing a 71-64 victory for the Aztecs in the second round of the NCAA playoffs on March 19.
Thomas’ block came moments after he had turned the ball over in what looked to be a potentially disastrous play for SDSU.
“I made a lot of plays that could have cost us the game,” Thomas said in an interview with espn.go.com. “But you know, being an Aztec, we know we can make it up defensively, or try to make it up defensively. That was the mindset after the turnover.”
Thomas’ senior season with the Aztecs was arguably the best of his college career. He averaged over 11 points and eight rebounds per game, while shooting over 50 percent from the floor.
While playing for City College in the 2008-09 season, Thomas averaged 21 points, 4 blocks and 12 rebounds per game and shot 62 percent from the field – all good enough for first or second in the conference. Thomas was named PCAC Player of the Year and named to the first team, all state.
City College coach Mitch Charlens said Thomas “has a fantastic mind for the game.”
“He is an extremely unselfish player,” Charlens added. “He is 6-foot-9-inches and can dribble, pass and guard anyone. Malcolm is unstoppable on the court and now that he makes his free throws, there is no stopping him.”
Charlens said Thomas was often double-teamed and triple-teamed while playing for City College and was still able to put together a season worthy of co-MVP honors for all community colleges in California.
“It was because of him and other great players we had that year that I was selected as coach of the year in California,” said Charlens.
Thomas was an integral part of both the Knights’ and Aztecs’ deepest postseason runs in their respective school histories.