Vernon Maxwell and Lamar Thomas will be recognized by Buchholz on Thursday

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A pair of champions will be recognized on Thursday night when they return home to their alma mater, Buchholz High School.

Two-time NBA Finals champion Vernon Maxwell and two-time NCAA football champion Lamar Thomas will have their jerseys framed in the lobby of Bud Seymour gymnasium ahead of the boys’ basketball game against the Eastside Rams, representing the honor to be a distinguished alumnus of Buchholz.

“We are honored to recognize both Vernon Maxwell and Lamar Thomas for all of their athletic achievements at Buchholz High School,” said Buchholz athletic director George Atohi. “Both men were extraordinary athletes who pursued successful academic and professional careers. Our school administration, coaches, players and alumni are delighted to have them take their places in the lobby of our gymnasium with all of them. the other old big Bobcats. “

Maxwell’s time at Buchholz lasted from 1981 to 1984 and ended in being recognized as Mr. Basketball from Florida in his final year. Maxwell also played for the Bobcats football team during his high school career before being offered a scholarship to play basketball for the University of Florida.

With the Gators, Maxwell played under Norm Sloan from 1985 to 1988 and helped UF secure their first place in an NCAA tournament in program history, which culminated in an unprecedented trip to the Sweet 16.

By the time he graduated from Florida, Maxwell had accumulated 2,450 career points – a program record at the time.

However, Maxwell’s legacy with the Gators was tarnished when the NCAA declared him ineligible for the 1987 and 1988 tournaments to have an agent. As a result, in 2005, the University Athletic Association elected to wipe Maxwell’s junior and senior seasons from the record books, leaving him just 1,046 career points.

Despite the scandal, Maxwell was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 1988 NBA Draft.

The Gainesville native’s NBA career spanned from 1988 to 2001, where he played for eight different organizations. However, his longest and most successful stint was from 1990 to 1995 with the Houston Rockets.

In Houston, Maxwell, who later earned the nickname “Mad Max” for his beyond-archery marksmanship, helped the Rockets win back-to-back NBA Finals titles in 1994 and 1995.

During this time, Thomas, who dated Buchholz from 1985 to 1988, was a scholar of four sports, having played football, basketball, baseball and running.

On hardwood, Thomas led the Bobcats in points, steals and dunks and won All-State first-team honors in both football and basketball before taking on the wide receiver role for the Miami Hurricanes.

Great Britain wide receiver coach Lamar Thomas watches during the British Football Fans Day open practice at Joe Craft Football Training Center in Lexington, Ky. On Saturday August 5, 2017.

At the end of Thomas’ Miami career, he held the record for most career receptions and second for receiving yards and touchdowns, falling only behind Hall of Fame member Michael Irvin.

Thomas also helped the Hurricanes win two national championships in 1989 and 1991 before being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft.

Thomas then spent five years with the Miami Dolphins from 1996-2000 before embarking on a career in sports broadcasting and later as a coach. Thomas’ most recent position was with the Kentucky Wildcats, where he coached wide receivers from 2015 to 2018.

Despite being celebrated on Thursday night, Buchholz is not removing Maxwell and Thomas jersey numbers.

“Thursday night is pretty special,” said Blake Golden, Buchholz head coach. “We had two really good players, two All-State players… guys who bleed Buchholz. And guys we just wanted to honor on Thursday night.”

Maxwell and Thomas will be celebrated ahead of Buchholz kick off at 7:30 p.m.


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