Former Elite 8 player gets 8 years in prison

Former Kent State basketball player Eric Thomas was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday after pleading guilty Oct. 1 to aggravated burglary and two counts of felonious assault.

Thomas was arrested Jan. 24. According to police reports, Thomas allegedly kicked in the door of a Ravenna resident and assaulted a male and female at the home.

Thomas, 29, was a starter on the 2002 team that reached the Elite 8 of the NCAA basketball tournament. Thomas, along with the three other seniors on that team, had his number retired following that season.

His banner was taken down after the incident, but Kent State Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy said his number will still be retired.

“We honor what he did as a student-athlete, and we will continue to honor that,” Kennedy said. “He was part of a very excellent program, we went to the Elite 8, and he was an integral part of that. As a student athlete here, (Thomas) was an excellent citizen.”

&mdash Jeff Russ