Etan Thomas

Author, poet, philanthropist, 11-year NBA veteran

Etan Thomas is More Than An Athlete. He's been called a "gentle giant." A "rebounder with a cause." Now the world can add published author to that list! With the release of his first collection of poems, Thomas defies the stereotype of the A-political athlete, and plants his roots in his budding literary career. With the conviction of a Bill Russell, and the poetic finesse of Muhammad Ali, Thomas takes on controversial topics, such as, The Death Penalty, the GOP, racism and abortion.

Born in Harlem and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Thomas' childhood was surrounded by books on the civil rights movement, politics and the 1960's. He was greatly influenced by his mother, Deborah Thomas, a schoolteacher who traveled with Thomas and his younger brother back home to Harlem every summer, attending plays and poetry readings.

This young, fiery poet approaches his work fearlessly,writing in the strong, historical lineage of his literary elders, Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez, and in the tradition of contemporary poets, Ras Baraka, Saul Williams, Tony Medina, and Asha Bandele.

Thomas graduated from Syracuse University as a two-time Big East defensive player of the year and the school's all time leader in block shots. Picked by Dallas in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft, he
eventually ended up playing for the Washington Wizards, where he became impressed with the political activism surrounding him. He has been invited to speak at the Congressional Black Caucus and has
worked heavily with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a vocal opponent of the death penalty.

Thomas has a passion for young people, speaking at community organizations, high schools and prisons across the country. He has performed alongside Nikki Giovanni, Edward Hirsch, The Last Poets, Kevin Powell and others. Refreshingly humble and remarkably talented, Thomas is determined to change the face of poetry, politics and professional sports with his own brand of legacy and an honest sense of
urgency that resonates off every page of his first collection. More Than An Athlete is more than a book of poetry; it's a statement about his generation not being confined to a box, a definition, or a label. Some play ball, and some write poems. Etan Thomas has mastered the art of both. Who's got next? Etan's newest book is Voices of the Future.