May 14, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Al Thornton, who earned All-America Third-Team honors as a senior at Florida State in 2007, was named to the T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First-Team as announced by the NBA. He ranked second among all NBA rookies in scoring with a 12.7 points per game average and a 4.5 rebounds per game average for the Los Angeles Clippers in his first year as a professional. Thornton was a Draft Lottery selection as the 14th overall choice in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Thornton received the fourth-highest number of votes for the All-Rookie First-Team and finished in front of 10 players who were picked ahead of him in the 2007 NBA Draft. He was joined on the NBA All-Rookie First-Team by Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks (third overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft), Kevin Durant of the Seattle Supersonics (second overall selection), Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets (56th overall selection in 2002 NBA Draft) and Seattle’s Jeff Green (fifth overall selection in 2007).
Thornton finished his first NBA season ranked second among rookies in scoring (12.7 ppg), fifth in minutes played (27.3 mpg), eighth in rebounds (4.5 rpg), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.331 3FG) and fourth in double-doubles (7). Thornton also scored a 2007-08 NBA Rookie and Clippers’ season high 39 points vs. Memphis on March 29, 2008. The 39-point outburst tied the Clipper rookie mark for points scored in a game (Terry Cummings – March 9, 1983 and Tom Chambers – April 15, 1982).
Thornton averaged 15.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in his 31 starts while scoring 20+ points on 20 occasions and 30+ points three times during his first season in the NBA. He led the Clippers in scoring 16 times, in rebounding eight times, in blocks 12 times and in steals 10 times.
The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Two points were awarded for first team votes and one for second team votes.
Considered to be one of the greatest players in Florida State basketball history, Thornton finished his collegiate career in 2007. He earned All-America Third-Team honors by the Associated Press, was an All-ACC First-Team selection and voted as the ACC Player of the Year runner-up as he enjoyed one of the top senior years in school and ACC history during the 2006-07 season. He is one of two players in school history to earn mention on the first, second or third team All-America teams by the Associated Press and the first Seminole since the 1989 season to earn All-America honors of third-team or better. Thornton was a unanimous selection to the All-ACC First-Team to become only the third Seminole (also Bob Sura in 1993-94 and Tim Pickett in 2003-04) in history to be named to the All-ACC First-Team and was named to the All-ACC Tournament Second-Team as a senior. He was a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith and Rupp Awards as the nation’s best collegiate player. He averaged 19.7 points and 8.8 rebounds as a senior.
Thornton is the second Seminole in NBA history to earn All-Rookie Team Honors. Dave Cowens, an All-America Second-Team selection as a Seminole, was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second-Team in 1971.