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Deshaun Thomas drafted 58th overall in NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs

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OSU junior forward Deshaun Thomas dribbles the ball during a game against Michigan on Jan. 13 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 56-53.

Lantern file photo

Deshaun Thomas, a former forward for the Ohio State men’s basketball team, was selected with the 58th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Draft Thursday night.

Thomas played a key role for OSU teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Final Four in 2012 and to the Elite Eight in 2013. A junior during the 2013-13 season, Thomas elected to forgo his senior season and declare for the NBA draft.

The Fort Wayne, Ind., native is leaving Columbus as the Buckeyes’ No. 9 scorer all-time with 1630 points, including the third best single-season total of 733 points during his final season.

After forward Jared Sullinger declared for the draft in 2012, Thomas took on a leadership role for OSU. He ended the 2012-13 season leading the Big Ten in scoring with 19.8 points-per-game and an average of 5.9 rebounds per game.

Thomas, the former Indiana Mr. Basketball, was a part of the highly touted 2010 recruiting class which included Sullinger as well as guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr.

Thomas is the ninth player under coach Thad Matta to be taken in the NBA draft. The 2013 draft marked the seventh straight draft in which an OSU player has been selected.

Former Buckeyes under Matta to be drafted include center Greg Oden and guards Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook in 2007, center Kosta Koufos in 2008, center Byron Mullens in 2009, forward Evan Turner in 2010, forward Jon Diebler in 2011 and Sullinger in 2012.

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