Former Duke basketball player Lance Thomas, an integral member of the Blue Devils 2010 national championship team, is being sued by a New York jewelery firm over merchandise he purchased Dec. 21, 2009, according to the Associated Press. That date is in the middle of his senior season.
Thomas bought five pieces of jewelry worth $97,800, $30,000 of which he paid up front. The balance of $67,800 remains unpaid, according to the AP.
“We have been made aware of a lawsuit filed by a jeweler against former men’s basketball player Lance Thomas and we are currently looking into the matter,” said Jon Jackson, an associate athletic director who works with men’s basketball, per the AP.
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is currently in Springfield, Mass. at the basketball hall of fame, has no further comment at this time, Jackson told The Chronicle.
The jewelry company in question, Rafaello & Co. said they had no comment on the matter.
The purchase brings up concerns that Thomas received improper benefits, which according to the NCAA are benefits that are not available to the student body at large. Both Duke and the NCAA are aware of the matter, according to the AP.
During this summer, Thomas played on the USA Select Team, which the USA Olympic men’s basketball team, coached by Krzyzewski, played against in practice. Former Blue Devil Kyrie Irving was also on the USA Select Team.
Thomas most recently played for the New Orleans Hornets last season, starting 10 games and playing in 42 overall. In his senior year at Duke, he averaged 25.3 minutes per game, notching 4.8 points and 4.9 rebounds.
This story is still being updated.
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