Two Former Mountain West Hoopers Sign Pro Contracts
San Diego State’s Xavier Thames and Wyoming’s Derek Cooke Jr. are both headed overseas
Thames and Cooke Jr. join the list of ex-MWC players set to leave the U.S.
Former San Diego State guard Xavier Thames and Wyoming forward Derek Cooke Jr. have both inked deals with pro teams abroad.
Thames, who played his final three collegiate seasons with the Aztecs, signed a one-year deal with Israel’s Bnei Herzliya, a Ligat HaAl club. Thames was named the 2014 Mountain West player of the year and led the entire country in win shares in the 2013-14 season.
Fellow Americans Jeff Adrien (Connecticut), Taurean Green (Florida) and Brandon Triche (Syracuse) will be teammates of Thames. The 6-3, 187-pound guard figures to be the starting shooting guard for Bnei Herzliya. Thames was the 59th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but has yet to make an official NBA appearance.
Wyoming’s Derek Cooke Jr. helped guide the Wyoming Cowboys to a 25-win campaign in 2015, and scored nine points in a round of 64 NCAA Tournament loss to Northern Iowa. He averaged 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in 102 appearances with Wyoming, and will now take his talents to Australia with the Perth Wildcats, a National Basketball League squad.
Perth has been a force in the NBL as of late, capturing three of the last four championships under head coach Trevor Gleeson. Bryce Cotton (Providence) and Devondrick Walker (Northwest Oklahoma State) are the other two Americans on the roster. Cooke has played three seasons at the NBA development level.