Mack original, Ed Thomas says playing for McClymond’s basketball team in the 1950s and ’60s was a great time in his life. At 6’3’’ he played all positions and averaged over 30 points a game.
“I was a single child so it was fun being around other kids and being a part of a team,” he said. “My teammates fed me the ball a lot, but there were times when I wanted others to have the opportunity to score.”
He recalls a game in 1958 against Oakland Technical High School where by half time he’d scored 27 points. In another game against Oakland Technical High School, he scored 57 points by the 3rd quarter.
“I was disappointed when the coach took me out of the game, who knows how many more points I could have made in that game,” he said.
Thomas says being recognized like a local celebrity was an amazing experience.
“One time me, Charles McKinney, Howard Foster and Paul Silas boarded the 72 San Pablo bus. When Cornell Green of El Cerrito High School and Tyler Williams of Richmond High saw my team mates and I, they began pointing at us with excitement. He also played alongside Mack legends Aaron Pointer, Paul Silas, Wendell Hayes, Howard Foster, Paul Goree, Woodson Foster, Charles Aikens and many others.
Thomas says he can most identify with Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.
“I played multiple positions just like Klay. It came naturally for me,” he said. His advice to aspiring basketball players is to get a great education. “Read as much as you can, listen and analyze what people say to you, and then respond.”
After listening to forward Ed Thomas, McClymond’s Warriors greatest scorer and a member of the greatest high school basketball team in history, it is clear that their style of play is now being employed by the world champion Golden State Warriors.
Thomas played for the Mack Warriors of 1958-60 era which was characterized by a fast-paced, team-oriented, multiple passing offense while also sporting an aggressive, suffocating full-court press defense. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguaodala are now repeating the successful model employed by Oakland’s original Warriors from Mack.
Thomas said his team placed four players on the All-City First team.
“We went undefeated because we mastered the art of playing together and coaching and correcting each other during the games. We learned the fundamentals of team-oriented basketball from Marion Sims at the Meltzner Boys Club. And during that legendary game when I scored more than 50 points it was our aggressive defense that really shined.”
Thomas is looking forward to the October 11 celebration of the great Mack teams of 1958-1962 at Scott’s in Oakland.