Marcus Thornton (basketball, born 1993)

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Marcus Thornton
Marcus Thornton (basketball, born 1993).jpg
Thornton with the William & Mary Tribe in 2014
No. 3 – Fortitudo Bologna
PositionShooting guard
LeagueLega Basket Serie A
Personal information
Born (1993-02-09) February 9, 1993 (age 29)
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolBishop McNamara
(Forestville, Maryland)
CollegeWilliam & Mary (2011–2015)
NBA draft2015 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career2015–present
Career history
2015–2016Sydney Kings
2016Maine Red Claws
2016–2017Consultinvest Pesaro
2017–2018Canton Charge
2019–2020Élan Chalon
2020–2021Niners Chemnitz
2021–2022Medi Bayreuth
2022–presentFortitudo Bologna
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

Marcus Alexander Thornton (born February 9, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for Fortitudo Bologna of the Lega Basket Serie A. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 45th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Thornton completed his collegiate career at the College of William & Mary (W&M) in 2015 and was named the 2014–15 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year.

On February 25, 2015, Thornton surpassed 2,052 career points to overtake Chet Giermak's long-standing school record. Giermak's mark stood for 65 years – the longest-lasting NCAA Division I school record in the nation at the time it was broken.[1]

High school career[edit]

Thornton, a native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, fell in love with basketball at an early age and was considered very talented throughout his youth.[2] He attended Bishop McNamara High School, a perennial basketball power, not because of the sport but because of its academic reputation and its proximity to his home.[2] He suited up for the varsity team as a sophomore but did not play, largely because he was playing behind future NCAA Division I players Talib Zanna (Pittsburgh), Rashad Whack (Mount St. Mary's), Lawrence Smith (North Carolina A&T), and Jerome Couplin III, who went on to play football at William & Mary (and eventually, the NFL).[2]

He made the most out of his two-year varsity career at Bishop McNamara. Thornton scored 1,254 points, set the school career scoring average at 19.9 points per game, three-point field goal percentage (.430), and three-pointers made (161).[2] He was named the Gatorade Maryland State Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 23.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game, all while competing in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, the toughest high school basketball conference in the country.[2][3] In his final game for Bishop McNamara, he scored a career high and school record 43 points.[3]

College career[edit]

Thornton became the first William & Mary Tribe signee to be named a Gatorade state player of the year.[3] He chose William & Mary over other schools partly because of its academic reputation and partly because of the attention then-assistant coach Jamion Christian paid him during recruitment.[2] Although Christian ended up taking an assistant coaching job at VCU the spring before Thornton enrolled, it did not affect his decision to attend.[2]

The 2011–12 season, his freshman year, saw the Tribe go 6–26 and finish third from the bottom of the CAA standings.[4] He averaged 11.1 points, scoring 355 on the year, and was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team.[3][5] He increased his scoring to 18.8 points per game in 2012–13 while he began to establish himself as a player who could create his own shot late in a possession.[2] Thornton was named Second Team All-CAA, becoming just the second W&M player to earn a second team honor in his sophomore year.[3] After scoring 565 points that season, entered his junior year just 80 points shy of 1,000 for his career.[5]

Thornton junior season of 2013–14 was a historic one for both himself and the team. The Tribe recorded 20 wins (20–12 overall), finished third in the CAA, and advanced to their third CAA tournament championship game in seven seasons.[3][6] The Tribe lost by one point to Delaware, 75 to 74, barely missing out on the program's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.[7] Thornton's potential game-winning jump shot rattled off the back of the rim as time expired.[2] He was the tournament's high scorer with 59 points in three games and was named to the All-CAA Tournament Team along with teammate Brandon Britt.[3] His 599 total points for the season rank fifth-most in school history and Thornton became just the second W&M player to be named NABC All-District 10 First Team in back to back seasons.[3] He also became the third W&M player to be named First Team All-CAA.[3] Thornton ended the season with 1,519 career points, the most in school history for a player through his first three seasons.[3][8]

Entering his senior season, Thornton was selected by the league's coaches as the preseason CAA Player of the Year.[8] Lindy's also chose Thornton as the league's most versatile player and its top NBA prospect.[8] He also entered 2014–15 as the only returning All-CAA First Team player with a legitimate shot at breaking the school's scoring mark of 2,052.[8] During the February 18, 2015 game against Northeastern, Thornton surpassed the 2,000-point mark and ended the game with 2,016.[5] The W&M mark of 2,052, set by All-American Chet Giermak, was broken by Thornton exactly one week later in a game against Towson.[9] The school record had stood since 1950 and was the longest-standing Division I men's basketball school scoring record in the country.[2][9] Thornton guided the Tribe to a 12–6 CAA record as they finished in a four-way tie for the regular season conference championship with James Madison, Northeastern, and UNC Wilmington.[10] On March 5, Thornton was named as the 2015 CAA Player of the Year, becoming the first W&M player to win it in the 32-year history of the award.[11] He also repeated as an All-CAA First Team selection, becoming just the second W&M player to earn the honor twice (joining Adam Hess in 2003 and 2004).[12]

For the second consecutive season, William & Mary earned a berth in the CAA tournament championship game. However, for the first time in school history, the Tribe entered the tournament as the number one seed. They went on to lose the 2015 tournament's final game to Northeastern, 72 to 61, thus ending their chance at a bid into the NCAA tournament. Thornton, however, was named to the CAA All-Tournament Team as well as being the tournament's leading scorer in both 2014 and 2015. By owning the regular season tie-breakers over the other three co-champions, William & Mary earned the automatic National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid, making the 2015 appearance their third in school history. On March 17, 2015, in the NIT's first round, Thornton scored a game-high 23 points despite the Tribe's 70–67 loss to Tulsa.[13] Thornton finished his collegiate career having amassed 2,178 points, which is the most in William & Mary history and seventh most in CAA history as of the end of the 2014–15 season.[13] He scored 659 points in his senior season, which stands as the second most for a season in school history behind Giermak's 740.[13] He also set the single season three-point field goals made (102) and most career games played (127 – tied) records.[13]

On March 30, the Associated Press named Thornton an honorable mention All-American.[14] He was the first W&M player since 1981 (Mike Strayhorn) to earn the distinction and only the sixth overall to that point.[14]

College statistics[edit]

2011–12 William & Mary 32 14 27.8 .371 .336 .707 2.4 1.3 .3 .2 11.1
2012–13 William & Mary 30 30 36.3 .440 .435 .827 2.8 2.8 .9 .5 18.8
2013–14 William & Mary 32 30 35.6 .435 .403 .779 2.3 2.8 1.1 .2 18.7
2014–15 William & Mary 33 33 36.7 .456 .402 .830 2.8 2.9 .6 .1 20.0
Career 127 107 34.1 .430 .402 .789 2.6 2.4 .7 .2 17.1

Professional career[edit]

NBA Draft and Summer League[edit]

On June 25, 2015, Thornton was selected with the 45th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, making him the first William & Mary player ever taken in the modern draft format (two rounds; since 1989).[15] He later joined the Celtics for the 2015 NBA Summer League and averaged 5.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in eight games.[16]

Sydney Kings (2015–2016)[edit]

On July 22, 2015, Thornton signed with the Sydney Kings for Australia's 2015–16 National Basketball League season.[17] On October 10, 2015, he made his debut for the Kings against the Cairns Taipans. In 29 minutes of action as a starter, he recorded nine points, three rebounds and three assists in an 87–63 win.[18] On November 1, he scored a season-high 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting in a loss to Melbourne United.[19] He appeared in all 28 games for the last-placed Kings, averaging 12.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, but shot just 37.7 percent from the field and 28.1 percent on three-pointers.[20]

Maine Red Claws (2016)[edit]

On March 1, 2016, Thornton was acquired by the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics' D-League affiliate.[21] Four days later, he made his debut for Maine in a 122–106 win over Raptors 905, recording seven points, one rebound, three assists and one steal in 15 minutes.[22]

Consultinvest Pesaro (2016–2017)[edit]

On July 30, 2016, Thornton signed a two-year deal with Italian side Consultinvest Pesaro.[23] On June 26, 2017, Boston Celtics was reported to have renounced their rights to Thornton.[24]

Canton Charge (2017–2018)[edit]

On November 3, 2017, Thornton was included in the opening roster of Canton Charge.[25]

On February 21, 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers signed Thornton to a 10-day contract; he was then assigned back to the G-League.[26] On March 4, he was reported to not have his second 10-day contract offered by the Cavaliers and returned to Canton Charge.[27] Thornton never played a game for the Cavaliers.

Élan Chalon (2019–2020)[edit]

On July 4, 2019, he has signed with Élan Chalon of the LNB Pro A.[28] Thornton averaged 10.4 points per game.[29]

Niners Chemnitz (2020–2021)[edit]

On July 28, 2020, Thornton signed with Niners Chemnitz in Germany.[29]

He averaged a team high 13.9 points and 4.2 assists in 33 games during the 2020-2021 season.

Medi Bayreuth (2021–2022)[edit]

On June 28, 2021, he has signed with Medi Bayreuth of the Basketball Bundesliga.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Thornton is the son of Wayne and Debra Thornton.[3] His brother, Andre Brooks, was a basketball player for Bridgeport University in Connecticut. His sister Tasha Brooks-Thornton was a high school state champion in Columbia, Maryland.[3] Thornton's dreadlocks have become a signature look and help define his personal brand.[2] He graduated with a Kinesiology degree from William & Mary.[3]


  1. ^ "Tarpey, Thornton propel William & Mary past Towson 65–50". ESPN Internet Ventures. February 25, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Fairbank, Dave (January 1, 2015). "W&M's Thornton combines talent with old-school work ethic to become a star". Daily Press. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Marcus Thornton bio". College of William & Mary. 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  4. ^ "2011–12 William & Mary Tribe men's basketball team". Sports Reference LLC. 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Marcus Thornton stats". Sports Reference LLC. 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "2013–14 William & Mary Tribe men's basketball team". Sports Reference LLC. 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Brady, Erik (February 17, 2015). "Dreams of the big dance: William & Mary's NCAA quest". USA Today Sports. USA Today. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d "Men's basketball: Is this the year of 'The Dance'?". College of William & Mary. November 13, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Holtzman, Kellen (February 25, 2015). "Marcus Thornton makes history as Tribe topples Towson". The Virginia Gazette. Williamsburg, Virginia. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Rendleman, John (February 28, 2015). "Pairings set for CAA Tournament; Seahawks #2 seed, four-way tie for regular season title". WWAY TV. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  11. ^ "2014–15 All-CAA Men's Basketball Release" (PDF). Colonial Athletic Association. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Fairbank, Dave (March 5, 2015). "W&M's Thornton CAA Player of the Year". Daily Press. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d "Valiant Second-Half Rally Falls Just Shy in NIT First Round at Tulsa". College of William & Mary. March 18, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Marcus Thornton Named Associated Press All-American". College of William & Mary. March 30, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  15. ^ "Celtics Select Rozier, Hunter, Mickey and Thornton in 2015 Draft". June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  16. ^ Casciaro, Joseph (July 23, 2015). "Celtics draft pick Thornton will play in Australia next season". Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "KINGS NAB DRAFT PICK MARCUS THORNTON". July 22, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  18. ^ "R1 REPORT: SYDNEY DOMINATE CAIRNS TO OPEN SEASON". October 10, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  19. ^ "UNITED TOO STRONG FOR KINGS". November 1, 2015. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  20. ^ Himmelsbach, Adam (February 28, 2016). "Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton joins Red Claws after season in Australia". Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  21. ^ "Red Claws Add Marcus Thornton". March 1, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  22. ^ "Walden Powers Red Claws Past Raptors 905". March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  23. ^ "Thornton è biancorosso!" [Thornton is red and white]. (in Italian). July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Celtics renounced rights to 2015 second rounder Marcus Thornton". June 26, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  25. ^ "NBA G League tips off today: here are the team rosters". November 3, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  26. ^ "Cavs Sign Marcus Thornton To 10-Day Contract". February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  27. ^ "Marcus Thornton: Contract with Cleveland expires". CBS Sports. March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  28. ^ Lupo, Nicola (July 4, 2019). "Marcus Thornton signs with Elan Chalon". Sportando. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  29. ^ a b Maggi, Alessandro (July 28, 2020). "Marcus Thornton inks with Chemnitz 99ers". Sportando. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  30. ^ ""Ein Scorer wie er im Buche steht!" medi bayreuth verpflichtet Marcus Thornton". (in German). June 28, 2021. Retrieved June 29, 2021.

External links[edit]