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St. John's basketball alumni: Bootsy Thornton Update

Former St. John's star guard Marvis "Bootsy" Thornton has been getting some love from the interwebs after signing with Turkish basketball club Efes Pilsen after a solid year with Serie A Club Montepaschi Siena, winning an Italian League title and going to the Euroleague Bootsy Thornton in SpainFinal Four.

He was a great St. John's player in 1999-2000, notably for almost beating Duke single-handed with 40 points and then following the next year with a tough win over the #2 Blue Devils where his playmaking skills helped guide the team.

Those were the days, for real.

And current St. John's fans can hope that sophomore Paris Horne has a bit of Bootsy in him - not a pure outside shooter, but he can make shots; a strong defender; a good finisher inside. (I don't see the potential for Horne to rebound like Bootsy, and Horne's got a long way to go before he has that Baltimore toughness).

As for Bootsy himself, the blog Ballin' Is A Habit has a great recap of Thornton's Euro years with Siena, FC Barcelona, and Akasvayu Girona. You should read it.

Also in today's news is an article from the Tallahassee Democrat (online), describing how Bootsy has gotten over not being selected in the Association's draft, is enjoying his good living, and plans to keep at it even if he never gets to play in the NBA.

From the article:

"Truthfully, I was frustrated at the whole situation for about a year or so (after St. John's)," said Thornton, 31, who lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three children in the offseason. "You would see some guys you played with get drafted that you felt like you were better than. You'd see them get their chance in the NBA and you never really got your chance. So I'll always be a little bit bitter I think.

"But what I understand now is it's all about timing."...

The 6-foot-4 guard still makes a very good living — players overseas routinely get paid well into six figures — doing something he loves doing.

Said [Tallahassee Community College trainer Jonathan] Jones: "His attitude is like, 'Sure, the NBA didn't pan out the way it should have. But this is my career and I've made a good living. So why not keep doing it?' That's exactly what his attitude is like."

Unlike many American players overseas, Thornton doesn't live alone during the season.

He brings his family — he's married to former local basketball star Aquenda Clark, who starred at Leon High and also played at TCC and Florida A&M — with him for most, if not all, of the season.

"I want to raise my children," he said. "That's important to me."

Providing for them is, too. That's why he's working out everyday with college kids. That's why he's willing to live in countries where he doesn't speak the language and isn't familiar with the culture.

A highlight reel from February of Bootsy's season, where he was the Euroleague MVP of the month:

Ballin'. As always.