By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
For NBA Legend Isiah Thomas, there’s only one thing better than talking basketball: It’s discussing his beloved sport over a glass of his award-winning Cheurlin Champagne.
Thomas, who led the Indiana Hoosiers to an NCAA title and twice guided the Detroit Pistons to an NBA championship, discussed basketball and Cheurlin Champagne with the Black Press during a recent livestream broadcast.
“Earlier, I co-founded a popcorn company called Popcorn Indiana, and when I sold that company, I was looking for my next venture to go into,” Thomas remarked.
“I looked at the champagne space, and what I discovered is that here in the U.S., we weren’t getting the best of the best. We were getting the second and the third press of the champagne, not the first press. Right now, we have the fastest-growing champagne in the United States.”
During the broadcast, Thomas was joined by Devaraj Southworth, the CEO of Thirstie, a leader in e-commerce and data solutions for beverage alcohol brands.
The pair announced a partnership to build an innovative direct to consumer purchase option for customers on the Cheurlin website.
“We’re honored to be joining Isiah and the Cheurlin family on their mission to bringing this fine champagne to the U.S. online market,” Southworth exclaimed.
“Thirstie’s cutting-edge technology, coupled with our innovative data solutions, helps ensure Cheurlin is available for shipping and delivery to 200 million Americans. We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Cheurlin as they grow their online presence.”
A Hall of Fame basketball star, Thomas also coached the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks.
He also owned a share of the Toronto Raptors and later served as president of basketball operations for the Knicks and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
This year, Thomas was thrust into the media spotlight after the damning Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance,” in which the former Chicago Bulls great slammed Thomas.
Sports journalists, social media users, and fans flocked to the controversy, with many holding up Jordan’s six NBA championships as evidence of Jordan’s dominance.
However, the NBA history books reveal that head-to-head, the 6 foot 1 inch Pistons superstar got the best of the 6 foot 6 inch Bulls Hall of Famer.
In matchups against Jordan, Thomas led the Pistons to a 20-10 record with the point guard averaging 21.1 points per game, 9.4 assists, 4 rebounds, and nearly 2 steals.
Thomas also shot 45 percent from the field and better than 43 percent from long-range.
Now, Thomas seeks to dominate in the beverage world, where Cheurlin already stands as the world’s largest minority-owned champagne brand.
“I take great pride in being able to expand Cheurlin Champagne to U.S. consumers,” Thomas stated. “This partnership with Thirstie is the next step in that journey.”