The new addition to the basketball roster was speaking on Barça TV. PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

In his second year as a pro after spending last season at JSF Nanterre in France, DeShaun Thomas (Fort Wayne IN, 1991) will be wearing the Barça colours in 2014/15. The small forward, who played college hoops at Bishop Luers and was 58th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs, has told www.fcbarcelona.com how signing for Barça was a wonderful birthday surprise and that the Spurs have congratulated him on the move.

It’s been said that you had an agreement with an Italian club but finally signed for Barça. What happened?

That’s right. I was about to go to Avellino in Italy, but my agent phoned me to say that Barça had called. ‘No way!’ I said. And it was my birthday that day, so it was a great gift!

After playing at college and then in France, what does coming to Barça mean to you?

This is my second year as a professional, first in France and now I’ll play in Spain, in the strongest league in Europe. After a good season at Nanterre coming to Barça is a step forward. I’m happy with my progress and the steps I’m taking.

Did you know about Barça or Barcelona before coming to Europe in 2013?

I didn’t know much about Barcelona when I was at college but when I was picked in the NBA Draft I decided to cross the Atlantic because I knew there’s a good level in Europe. In France, we played Barça in the Euroleague I realised what a great club it is.

The San Antonio Spurs picked you in the second round of the 2013 Draft. Have they spoken to you since you joined Barça?

San Antonio have my rights in the NBA and they congratulated me for signing for Barça, because it’s a big team, and it’s a great chance for me. It’s an NBA team in Europe.

Your big dream is to play in the NBA one day

Of course the dream is to play in the NBA, but I’m here now, enjoying a great opportunity. It’ll be a good experience to play at a higher level and I hope to be a success.

What can DeShaun Thomas do for the team? What are your qualities?

I hope to add toughness, teamwork, rebounds, concentration … I’m not a compulsive scorer but I can make contributions on both sides of the court. I like to run when I can.

You’re left handed, you shoot the three, you play tough and get rebounds. Do you know who Pete Mickeal is?

(Laughs) Pete Mickeal? Brad Oleson told me about him. He was a legend at Barcelona. I have seen his plays, his strength, his throws … He’s a symbol. I’m flattered that people think I can do things like he did. But I want to be DeShaun Thomas and I hope to be just as strong as he was.

What have you liked best about your first few days in Barcelona? How are they treating you?

Everyone’s treating me well. They’re all very generous in this team and their mentality is great. I am happy and when my family get to Barcelona I’ll be happier still.

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