(Ireland Peters, 4 (left), Amber Strang, five months (centre) and Aubree Strang, 2, died in a fire the broke out in a home late last Tuesday on the Pikangikum First Nation. Facebook/photo)APTN National NewsThe Ontario Provincial Police on Monday released the names of the six adults and three children who died in a fire that consumed a home on the Pikangikum First Nation last Tuesday.The youngest of the victims was identified as five-month-old Amber Strang, who died along with her siblings Ireland Peters and 4, Aubree Strang, 2.The children’s parents Dietrich Peters, 35, and Faith Strang, 24, also died in the fire.Faith Strang’s parents, Dean Strang, 51, and Annette Strang, 49, died in the fire, along with son Gilbert Strang, 31 and his girlfriend Sylvia Peters, 41.According to the OPP statement the home destroyed by fire was the primary residence of Dean and Annette Strang.The OPP said the cause of death for all nine victims was smoke inhalation.The OPP said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but foul play is not suspected.The fire broke out at the Dunsford Rd. home shortly before 11:44 p.m. last Tuesday.Pikangikum Chief Dean Owen told APTN National News previously neighbours tried to rescue the occupants of the home but the fire spread too quickly.Pikangikum, a fly-in Ojibway community, sits about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, [email protected]@APTNNews
MONTREAL – Bombardier Inc. said its deal with Airbus has yet to ignite new sales discussions, but existing efforts have yielded results as the manufacturer announced back-to-back potential orders including one with Africa’s largest airline.Chief executive Alain Bellemare told an investor conference Tuesday that he fielded upbeat calls from some large airlines —including Airbus customers — hours after the deal was announced.“That’s the reason why I’m convinced that we are going to see much better sales moving forward,” he said at the Goldman Sachs Industrials Conference in Boston.Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has signed its second potential C Series order in less than two weeks after EgyptAir Holding Co. announced plans to purchase up to 24 aircraft.The agreement announced at the Dubai Airshow includes 12 CS300 aircraft with purchase rights for an additional 12 aircraft.Bellemare acknowledged that the orders had nothing to do with Airbus even though the partnership gave customers added comfort that the European giant will put its full weight behind the C Series.“This is very good but it’s the work our team was doing with airline customers,” he told analysts. “It keeps on building the momentum up.”Bombardier said that based on the list price of the CS300, a firm order for 12 aircraft would be valued at about US$1.4 billion. That would double if the airline exercises the 12 purchase rights. However, airlines typically receive large discounts.“It would be difficult to wish for a better carrier to establish our presence in the region,” Colin Bole, Bombardier senior vice president commercial aerospace, said in a conference call with reporters from Dubai.“It’s a great template and it is something that will be followed extremely closely by the other carriers in the regions and the sub regions in the area.”The C Series has also been ordered by Iraqi Airways, Saudi Gulf and Gulf Air.The national airline of Egypt told reporters in Dubai that while it has been studying the C Series for a long time, Airbus’ involvement makes them feel better about the program, Bombardier commercial aircraft president Fred Cromer added on the conference call.EgyptAir chairman and CEO Safwat Musallam said the planes will help the airline to modernize its fleet and better serve destinations in the Middle East and Europe.Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group says Airbus’ involvement will assuage fears that the C Series will be an “orphan” airplane because it will have the support of the European aerospace giant.“I would argue that the Airbus effect will be fairly profound,” he said in an interview.Aboulafia said the C Series is a great plane but Bombardier has had major financial issues.“That is no longer a problem. You remove that, you now have just a great jet that the people want.”The EgyptAir letter of intent and a deal for 31 planes plus options for 30 announced Nov. 2 with an undisclosed customer are expected to be firmed up by the end of the year. That would raise the number of firm C Series orders to more than 400.Bombardier said it remains confident that Boeing won’t be able to prove in its trade complaint that it has been damaged by the C Series since it doesn’t make a plane the size of the CS100 and wasn’t invited to bid on the Delta order.Nonetheless, Cromer said Bombardier is developing contingency plans if high tariffs continue to be applied on aircraft manufactured in Canada and delivered to the U.S.“We have opportunities to place some of those early Delta positions with other airlines,” he said.Cromer declined to say if the second assembly line in Alabama estimated by the company to be built at a cost of more than US$300 million would be affected by the maintenance of high U.S. duties.Bellemare added that Bombardier was never seeking to use the C Series to compete with Boeing or Airbus. Rather, its competitor for the 100- to 150-seat aircraft will remain Brazil’s Embraer.“There were two (competitors) yesterday and there will be two tomorrow,” he said.Bellemare added that Boeing has underestimated the response to its trade action, with support for Bombardier coming from companies and governments such as Canada and Britain.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier’s shares gained nearly 1.6 per cent at C$3.11 in afternoon trading.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration says it has brought about 500 safety inspectors back to work and expects more to return next week, potentially easing strains on the aviation system amid a partial federal government shutdown.Most of the FAA’s 3,000 safety inspectors have been sidelined during the 22-day shutdown . But the agency is accelerating efforts to bring them back. Agency spokesman Gregory Martin didn’t provide specifics in an email to the Associated Press Saturday.Inspectors oversee and certify inspections by airline and repair-shop employees. They’re not considered essential employees who must work during shutdowns.The shutdown has hit aviation hard . About 10,000 FAA air traffic controllers are on the job but not getting paid. Some Transportation Security Administration screeners are staying home rather than work without pay.The Associated Press
The review found that the state of stress throughout much of the Kiskatinaw area at depths between the Doig and Belloy is strike-slip and in a near-critical state. This means only small fluid pressure increases are sufficient to cause the most critically oriented fractures and faults to become critically stressed.The full review can be found on the OGC’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Oil & Gas Commission released a third-party review of the factors that contributed to induced seismic events in the Kiskatinaw area.According to the OGC, on November 29, 2018, the area experienced a 4.5 magnitude induced seismic earthquake which led to heightened public concern.In the third-party review, conducted by Enlighten Geoscience Limited, it looks at understanding the issues surrounding induced seismicity in the Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area.
Los Angeles: The Matrix producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has revealed that before Keanu Reeves was chosen to play Neo, he initially wanted Sandra Bullock for the role. Di Bonaventura, whose filmography includes discovering the cult classic sci-fi franchise at Warner Bros and Transformers film series, said there were far more than two options to choose from. Several A-listers including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith were considered for the part. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate. We went to Sandy Bullock and said ‘We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ (Producer) Joel Silver and I worked with Sandy on ‘Demolition Man’ and she was and continues to be a very good friend of mine.” “It was pretty simple. We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it we would try to make the change,” he told The Wrap in an interview as part of the film’s 20th anniversary year. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna”It just wasn’t something for her at the time. So really it didn’t go anywhere,” di Bonaventura added. A representative for Bullock said the actor did not recall the specifics of the pitch for The Wachowskis’ epic but di Bonaventura was always supportive of her career. She added, however, that the right person was cast for the film. In 2009, the actor said that she was also considered to play Trinity and regretted not taking it. The role famously went to Carrie-Anne Moss. Reeves and Bullock had previously worked in the 1994 ‘s action blockbuster film Speed, a few years before The Matrix was released.
Ghaziabad: A 35-year-old man allegedly killed his wife and three children including two daughters in Nyay Khand 2 in Indirapuram area of Ghaziabad on intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. Police are yet to trace the accused who left his home informing his family members by putting up a video on family’s AhatsApp group of which he told the members that he killed the all of him family and he is going to commit suicide now.According to police, the deceased have been identified as accused’s wife Ashu Balla (32), two daughters- Parmesh (6) and Akriti (8) and only son Aarav (4). “The family lived at a rented accommodation in a builder flat for the last two years,” police said. Shlok Kumar, SP City of Ghaziabad told Millennium Post that the accused has been identified as Sumit Kumar, who works as a software engineer. “Two months ago, he resigned his job in Bangalore and after that he had no job while his wife works as a private teacher in Ghaziabad. The reason behind this killing is not clear yet, but the initial investigation revealed that the accused was under depression due to financial crunch and no job can also be a reason,” Kumar added. “The accused himself posted a video on the family WhatsApp group in which he confessed to have killed his family and he also told the family members that he is going to kill himself as well,” Kumar added. Sandeep Kumar Singh, Station House Officer of Indirapuram police station, said that the incident occurred around 3 am and he posted his video on family group around 6pm on Sunday. After posting the video, the accused called his brother-in-law and informed about the incident. Around 6.15 pm, police received a call from the Ashu’s brother and he informed the police about the incident. When police team reached the accused’s house, police found all dead body on the bedroom floor,” Singh said. Three police team have been formed by SP City to trace the accused live or dead, as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, younger players continue to be productive — and gain more playing time. Position players 26 and younger accounted for 43.2 percent of position-player WAR in 2018, the highest share since 1974, up nearly 20 percentage points from 2001 (23.4 percent). Similarly, this group got 38.4 percent of plate appearances, which was the highest number for them since 1987. This MLB offseason, star players searching for contracts like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are going to be fine. But the majority of free agents in baseball this winter? They might be in store for another long wait as the game continues to trend younger — younger than it’s ever been for position players in the free agency era.Harper and Machado — rare 26-year-old superstar free agents — could break contract records this year. (Harper has already turned down $300 million.) But the rest of the free-agent class of 2018-19, which was once expected to be historically rich in talent, is not as strong as it could have been. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw declined to exercise his opt-out and signed a new three-year, $93 million deal with the Dodgers on Friday without ever becoming a free agent. Josh Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP, suffered a series of injuries that diminished his value, and A.J. Pollock has a similar recent history. Andrew McCutchen, a former National League MVP, is now 32 and no longer a star-level player.While there is star power at the top, more money to spend and perhaps fewer rebuilding teams, the vast majority of this class’s 250-plus free agents — who became eligible to sign with any team on Saturday — face the same questions that tormented the middle tier of free agents last year: Will any team sign them? And even if they land on major league rosters, how long will they have to wait, and what kind of salary will they have to accept to get there?The overriding issue is that the game is getting younger. Last season was the youngest for position players since the 1970s.To become a free agent, a player must accrue six years of service time.1Players also become free agents when they’re released from their clubs before reaching that threshold. The average age for rookies breaking into the majors last year was 24.4 for position players and 25.3 for pitchers. By the time these players have six years of service time, most will be at least 30 years old. Harper and Machado, who debuted as 19- and 20-year-old wunderkinds, are outliers.According to Spotrac, the 147 free agents to sign at least a one-year deal with guaranteed dollars last season were, on average, 32.6 years old, and the average age of this year’s class is 33.1 years. Last season, position players age 32 and older accounted for 12.9 percent of wins above replacement (WAR)2According to FanGraphs’ version of the metric. and 18.6 percent of plate appearances, which were the lowest numbers that demographic have contributed since 1975 and 1979, respectively. Free agency began in MLB after the 1976 season, so last offseason’s landscape for 30-somethings was about as bleak as it’s ever been in the free agency era. And this past season featured position players who were even younger. Pitchers are also trending younger, though not as dramatically. Pitchers age 32 and older combined for 18.7 percent of WAR and 19.9 percent of innings in 2018, which is down from 2001 levels (27.1 and 24.9 percent) but up from the 21st-century low in 2015 (12.1 and 17.1 percent).David Freese — who hit .296 with a .359 on-base mark last season — was ostensibly so concerned about his prospects this winter that, rather than test the open market, the 35-year-old signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Dodgers last week that was less than his 2019 club option of $6 million. (The Dodgers also paid him the option’s $500,000 buyout.) Some background: Freese waited until March 11, 2016, to sign a one-year, $3 million deal coming off a 2.2-WAR 2015 season. Freese is well-aware of how tough the market can be for a 30-something free agent.When I spoke with free agent infielder Neil Walker in June, he was already concerned about the upcoming offseason. Walker signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the New York Yankees on March 12, nearly a month after spring training camps opened. He had produced seven straight seasons of at least 2 WAR.3Walker hit .219 last year, so perhaps teams saw something that made them rightfully cautious.“You hope this trend with middle-tier guys doesn’t continue through this collective bargaining agreement [which ends in 2021], because there are going to be many, many more guys that are affected,” said the 33-year-old Walker, a former player representative for the union. “It’s not the top top-tier guys. … It’s the guys in between. There are a lot more guys in between. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know there are teams out there that didn’t spend a dime. There are teams out there that sold off most of their assets. That’s something, when you look around the league, it makes it pretty top-heavy and bottom-heavy. That’s alarming. That’s not the greatest situation, in my opinion, for baseball.”There was a time not long ago when a player with Walker’s resume wouldn’t have to worry about finding work. Not now, though. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Walker’s former club, proved you could achieve mediocrity without spending a single dollar on a major league free agent last offseason. The players union went as far as filing a grievance against the Pirates — along with the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s — for spending very little on their major league payrolls while also being among the clubs receiving revenue sharing.There are a number of other issues contributing to the game’s youth movement, including testing for performance-enhancing drugs and teams’ growing desire to manage budgets more efficiently. The average position player age reached this century’s peak — 29.3 years — in 2004, when PED usage had become so rampant that the league finally enacted penalties for testing positive. That age has been declining ever since and fell to 28.1 last season, suggesting that PEDs may have been artificially extending the productive lifespan of a significant number of older players. Furthermore, last season position players age 32 and up saw their plate appearances decline by 36 percent compared with 2001, but their WAR production dropped by 54 percent. In other words, older players have become less effective in the playing time they get.Younger players are also usually cheaper — until they reach arbitration after three seasons in the majors, players make at or near the league minimum salary. Players who haven’t yet hit free agency also don’t come with the kind of high-risk long-term contracts that teams seem increasingly leery of — and not without reason. For instance, Eric Hosmer was a relatively young free agent last winter, entering his age 28 season, when he signed an eight-year, $144 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Hosmer proceeded to turn in a below-replacement-level performance for the year (-0.1 WAR). FanGraphs’ top 10 free agents last winter included some successes — J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain — and some failures in Hosmer and Yu Darvish.4Granted, this was just the first year of the players’ multi-year deals, so these assessments may change by the time the contracts end. Overall, the top 10 FanGraphs free agents combined to produce 20.5 WAR at $179 million in earnings in 2018. That’s $8.7 million per WAR for a club, which is not particularly efficient.Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer also believes that younger players have another advantage: They are better adapted to recent technology advances and have benefited from improved player-development practices.“Older players, generally, haven’t kept up with how the league is changing and evolving,” Bauer said. “They do what they did to get there.”But while more older players are aging out of the game and teams are avoiding risky, big-ticket contracts, free agency is also being pinched on the front end. Teams have increasingly manipulated players’ service time, delaying their entry into free agency. Kris Bryant filed a grievance against the Chicago Cubs in 2015 over this. Last year, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit .402 in Double-A and .336 in Triple-A, but the Blue Jays didn’t bring up the 19-year-old because they claimed that he needed to work on his defense, and the son of a Hall of Famer has yet to debut. Guerrero and the MLBPA filed a grievance.“Now it’s almost getting chopped on both sides,” Walker said. “The window [for player earnings] is much smaller than it used to be.”Moreover, teams have had success at hanging on to many young stars by offering club-friendly extensions before they reach free agency, buying out those first years when a player can test the open market. And in recent offseasons, an unusual number of teams have been mired in dramatic rebuilds, with no interest in adding to their payroll. In September, things had gotten so dire for the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals that we questioned whether they could even beat Triple-A teams.Said a MLB Players Association spokesperson to FiveThirtyEight: “If 30 clubs are competing for a pennant, the free agent market for players will be robust. We’ll closely monitor developments.”And while baseball officially has no salary limits, MLB’s strengthened luxury tax acted as a soft cap last winter. Only the Red Sox and Nationals exceeded the $197 million threshold in 2018, according to numbers obtained from the commissioner’s office by The Associated Press. The Yankees stayed under the luxury tax for the first time since it was implemented, and the Los Angeles Dodgers spent just $4 million on free agents last winter. Perhaps that was done with an eye on this year’s class and on courting Harper, Machado or other stars. Time will tell.At a time when baseball revenues have increased dramatically — the average franchise valuation increased from $295 million in 2004 to $1.6 billion in 2018, according to Forbes — total money spent on player salaries increased by just 1.86 percent from 2017 ($4.638 billion) to 2018 ($4.724 billion). Some have wondered whether baseball players would actually benefit from a salary cap if it also came with a salary floor that guaranteed players a share of the sport’s revenues. After briefly instituting a salary cap and replacing arbitration with restricted free agency during the 1994-95 strike, owners would likely reject such a proposal today.Tinkerers have put forward other ideas to help improve free agency for players, including declaring all players free agents when they reach a certain age, which would also address the way clubs have been manipulating service time. For now, they are just ideas.“As we approach the next round of collective bargaining, we’re going to be considering all aspects of the system, as we always do,” the MLBPA spokesperson said.But there are several actual developments that could help players this winter.The Marlins spent last offseason trading off significant assets like Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, which had the trickle-down effect of allowing several teams to fill the holes in their roster without resorting to the free-agent market. This time around, the Marlins don’t have many assets to shed, though catcher J.T. Realmuto could be dealt. There don’t appear to be many teams with major assets to sell, though the Seattle Mariners might rebuild.In addition, large-market clubs like the Yankees and Dodgers reset their tax status last winter, which means that the next time they exceed the threshold, their tax rate will be lower. Since so many teams were rebuilding last year, maybe some of them will be past the teardown stage and more interested in upgrading their rosters this year.The Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves, for example, may begin to spend more significantly and build on their cores. The Philadelphia Phillies are rumored to be interested in Harper and Machado. The Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and even the Tampa Bay Rays are projected to enjoy considerable payroll space.The stars will certainly get paid this offseason, but the game also continues to trend younger. That means it could be another long winter for the majority of free agents.
The Ohio State football team is the 2009 BCS National Champion.This phrase strikes even the most avid fans as impossible, but it is much more probable than it seems.The BCS rankings are comprised of the USA Today Coaches Poll, The Harris Interactive Poll and a combination of computer rankings that are each worth one-third of the overall rankings. The USA Today and Harris Interactive polls consist of human voters casting ballots every week while the computer rankings crunch numbers, such as strength of schedule and outcomes of games versus shared opponents.The system can be quite confusing and its existence is always a hot topic in college football, but it typically favors teams with fewer losses and teams from big conferences, such as the Big Ten.This was evident during the 2007 season, when the Buckeyes lost to Illinois in Week 12, but still managed to crawl their way into the championship game after only playing one game during the season’s final four weeks.The rankings make the current situation, and peculiar ranking, similar to 2007. The 2007 Buckeyes were ranked No. 7 following their loss to Illinois, and the 2009 team is ranked No. 7 in the polls this week.The 2007 team had one game and four weeks left in the season to make up ground. This year’s team has six games and nine weeks of football to make it to the top of the standings.In 2007, all six teams ranked ahead of OSU in Week 12 lost during the last four weeks of the season. Oklahoma and Oregon both lost in Week 12, Kansas and LSU lost in week 13 and Missouri and West Virginia lost during their conference championships. Compared to 2007, this year’s Buckeyes actually have a better chance of making it to the national championship.No. 6 USC plays two ranked opponents, No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 14 Oregon, and has lost to an unranked conference opponent this season. That loss could hurt the Trojans when the BCS rankings are released on Oct. 18, because the computer rankings consider the quality of the opponents a team loses to.The No. 5 Boise State Broncos will face only two teams in the remaining season with winning records. The computer rankings will hurt the Broncos since their strength of schedule is low. OSU should pass them in the rankings before the season’s end.Virginia Tech, ranked fourth, plays only one currently ranked opponent the rest of the season — No. 20 Georgia Tech, who they face this weekend. The Hokies will play a conference championship game if they win out, but conference championship games took down two teams ahead of OSU in 2007.No. 3 Texas plays the toughest remaining schedule, facing three currently ranked teams in No. 20 Oklahoma, No. 16 Oklahoma State and No. 17 Kansas. This does not include the conference championship they would play if they won the rest of their regular season contests. No. 2 Alabama plays two currently ranked teams, No. 22 South Carolina this weekend and No. 9 LSU in two weeks, and has a conference championship at the end of the year.Top-ranked Florida has an easy schedule to finish the season, playing only two teams with winning records and only one ranked team, but they must play a conference championship.Because OSU is likely to pass USC and Boise State, and the possibility of Texas losing one game in a tough schedule, only three teams would pose major threats to OSU.The other three teams all play a conference championship, likely against ranked opponents, and Alabama and Florida will play each other in the conference championship if they both win their remaining regular season games. That leaves two teams ahead of OSU.The Buckeyes must win every remaining game this year for a hope at the championship.In 2007, the Buckeyes played only one ranked opponent after Week 15 of the season, No. 18 Wisconsin, which left their strength of schedule lower than desired.This season, OSU has a possibility to play two Top 15-ranked teams in Iowa and Penn State. If OSU beats two top 15 teams, they would stay ahead of other one-loss teams in the top 10 because of their quality of wins.
“Win and you’re in.” It’s safe to say that phrase is lingering in the minds of players and coaches for the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team. With a win at the fifth annual “Showdown in the ‘Shoe” this coming Saturday, the team would punch its ticket to the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament. The Buckeyes will face-off against Air Force at 11 a.m. live on the Big Ten Network right before the OSU spring football game, for which about 60,000 presale tickets have already been distributed. The team isn’t nervous about playing in Ohio Stadium, coach Nick Myers said. Myers said it was a challenge last week against Michigan in their stadium, but overall the team is excited about another opportunity. “This is the fifth year I’ve been a part of this event, and it’s like no other in the game of lacrosse,” Myers said. “I think it really speaks to the commitment the university has made to get behind this game. A lot of fans are being exposed to what we feel like is a great game and it’s just huge for Midwest lacrosse.” If the Buckeyes win against Air Force Saturday, the team will make a strong stance for the No. 3 seed in ECAC tournament. With Loyola (Maryland) undefeated in the conference, the win would set up a possible back-to-back matchup with Fairfield University in the last matchup of the regular season, as well as the first-round game of the ECAC tournament for the Buckeyes. The winner of the ECAC tournament will get an automatic bid into the 2012 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament. The ECAC tournament begins on May 2 in Denver. “We’re hungry,” Myers said. “I think we realize how close we are, we just feel like we still haven’t really played our best.” The team hit a rough spot in the middle of the season with a record of 1-5 in the month of March. Two big victories against Hobart College and Michigan in the past two weeks have opened the doors to the postseason for the Buckeyes. With only two games remaining in the season, senior midfielder Brock Sorensen said the team understands the situation they are in. “I think there has been more of a focus as the season has gone on,” Sorensen said. “Our defense has continued to play great for us and we know that is the backbone of our team. It’s just getting our offense to click and getting all 44 guys to chip in any way that they can.” Sorensen has recorded nine goals this season, the highest in his Buckeye career. The defense is ranked 10th in team defense in the NCAA, only allowing 7.75 goals a game. Redshirt senior defenseman Matt Kawamoto said stat resulted from a lot of hard work put in by his teammates this year. Everyone is buying into the game plan and everyone is just staying focused to that goal, Kawamoto said. Kawamoto was announced as a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Class award on April 4. The winner will be announced during the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship weekend, which will be held May 26-28 in Boston. “To be put in the same category with those other ten guys, it’s a really huge honor,” Kawamoto said.
Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas is declaring for the 2013 NBA Draft. The junior forward announced his decision to forgo his senior season Friday afternoon through a university press release. After helping guide the Buckeyes to an NCAA Tournament run that ended in an Elite Eight loss to Wichita State March 30 in Los Angeles, Thomas said it’s the right time to take his game to the next level. “My three years at Ohio State have been the best years of my life,” Thomas said in a released statement. “I have grown tremendously as an individual and as a basketball player. I intend to return to finish my degree, but I believe that now is the best opportunity to pursue my dream and begin my career as a professional basketball player.” After leading OSU and the Big Ten in scoring this season with 19.8 points per game, Thomas was named a third-team Associated Press All-American and a media and coaches first-team All-Big Ten selection. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native scored 773 points last season, a figure good for the third-most in program history. OSU coach Thad Matta said lauded Thomas’ career in Columbus. “To see Deshaun grow into the man he has become has been amazing,” Matta said in a released statement. “His accomplishments on the floor speak for themselves but I am just as proud of him and what he has done off the floor. We recruited him offering the opportunity to grow as a person and player and that is exactly what happened. I know there is much more in-store for him in the future and I am proud to have been able to coach him.” According to the release, Thomas will finish out OSU’s Spring Semester while readying himself for the draft, which is set for June 27 at 7 p.m.