Sam Thomas Column

SAM’S CORNER: Final 4 banner celebration excitement after statement win vs. L’ville

Hey Wildcat fans!

If you watched our game this past week against #6 Louisville, then I’m sure you were jumping out of your seats just as I was sitting on the bench fouled out. I felt like a fan cheering on my team, jumping out of my seat at every moment.

At one point, I was sitting next to Helena squeezing her arm so hard that my nail punctured her skin and she started bleeding everywhere. I felt so bad but I couldn’t help myself. I was so into the game and screaming. That was one of the most exciting games I have been a part of just because of the meaning behind the win.

It was our first true test against a really tough team without our former superstar Aari. It was a statement game after getting ranked #22 when we just came off a National Championship game. It meant a lot to us to win this game and I am super proud of our team and staying together.

We were able to have a nice happy flight home as we chartered out of South Dakota which was very cold but the hospitality was amazing. One of the women who helped put on the tournament brought her dog with her. As soon as we arrived at the hotel, the dog was sitting at the door greeting us. We had about a five-minute walk to get to our eating room and somehow the dog managed to walk his way into our meal room and said hi to us.

In the morning, when we went to shootaround, it was very early, a 6:30 wake up for an 8 a.m. shootaround and breakfast. The dog met us at the gym and stayed for our practice. It made the early cold morning a little bit easier.

I am glad to be back in the heat of Tucson. Luckily, we are here for a while until we head to the Virgin Islands during Thanksgiving. Until then, we are home in McKale where we take on Texas Southern on Monday night at 6:30. Hoping to see everyone there as it is the game we will be raising our banner for making it to the Final Four. You won’t want to miss it!

Sam Thomas is a senior leader with Adia Barnes’ program returning for her fifth season in 2021-22 as granted by the NCAA because of last season impacted by COVID-19 protocol. She has agreed to write a weekly column at Her honors at Arizona include:

2021 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2021 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American
Elite 90 Award Winner
2021 All-Pac-12
2020 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
2020 & 2021 Pac-12 All-Defense
2020 & 2021 Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll
2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team
2019 Pac-12 All-Academic First Team
2018 Pac-12 All-Freshman
2018 Arizona Athletics Female Freshman of the Year

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