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John Thomas 

Basketball ∙ Aliquippa

Success, it seems, has a habit of following John Thomas.

At Aliquippa, John was a two-year letter-winner and was selected to the WPIAL Section III honorable mention all-conference team. But it was on the college level where John blossomed into a star. As a student-athlete at Missouri Southern State College, John was a four-year starter, remarkably never missing a single game. By the time he earned his degree in 1973, John held school records for season rebounding average - a remarkable 16.2 a game, rebounds in a season at 445 and career rebounds with 1,536. In the 1970-71 season, John grabbed an incredible total of 389 rebounds in 24 games. In his four seasons John scored a career total of 1,719 points for Missouri Southern State and was an NAIA All-American each year. Missouri Southern State was the District 16 basketball champions in John’s junior and senior seasons and advanced to the NAIA National Championship tournament in Kansas City both years. Following his standout college career, John was drafted in the ninth round of the 1973 draft by the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

Following his illustrious college career, John chose to return to his hometown and become an educator at his Alma Mater, Aliquippa. Beginning as a reading specialist, John embarked on a remarkable 35 year career in education that saw him move from the classroom into administration. His tenure as an educator included one year as a middle school guidance counselor, 10 years as principal at Aliquippa High School, one year as assistant to the superintendent and five years as Superintendent of Schools of the Aliquippa School District.

John also continued his involvement in athletics, spending time as Aliquippa’s track coach as well as serving as a long-time assistant basketball coach to the legendary Red McNie, also a member of the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame.

A lifelong member of the Beaver County community, John served, and continues to serve in various civic capacities. John is an Executive Board member of the Beaver County NAACP and sits on the Board of Directors of the Drug and Alcohol Services of Beaver County, The Franklin Center of Aliquippa and The Aliquippa Family Life Center. He is a member of the Heritage Valley Community Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees of the Church in the Round and the Aliquippa Council of Men and Fathers.

 John his wife of 37 years, Josephine (Bonnie) are the proud parents of three children, John Thomas, Jr., Felicia Williams and Christina Griffin, as well as five grandchildren, Micah, Mikayla, Matthew, Destiny and Cayson.