Sam Thomas Column

SAM’S CORNER: Back practicing in McKale while recalling best moments of 2021

Hello Wildcat fans!

This week we all got back together after being home for Christmas break, and it was great to see everyone again. We see each other almost every day throughout the whole year so it feels strange being away from everyone longer than a day. Since our LA games got postponed, it was a full week of practicing and focusing on us. We had to get back in shape and regain our strength after being home for a few days.

Our next games are against the Washington schools beginning on Friday against Washington State. This will be our first game of the new year and we are excited to get back not only playing games but also starting conference play.


Happy New Year to everyone as well. I hope the new year brings much joy for everyone and hopefully an end to the Covid craziness. My favorite basketball memory of 2021 would have to be our run in the NCAA tournament, no surprise there. It was such a special experience for us all. After going through a stressful year dealing with COVID-19, not being able to see our families, having no fans, and no one expecting us to go far in the tournament, it was a great way to finish the season and make our Tucson fans proud. Hopefully in 2022 we can repeat our journey but this time come out with a win.

My favorite non-basketball memory of 2021 would have to be back in the summer when my two fellow halfricans Dominique and Tara came to visit me back in Tucson. It had been about a year since I had seen Dominique and Tara was gone finishing up her summer workouts after getting settled into her new school. We talk almost everyday but we all had not been together since Dominique graduated. It’s hard to all be together now that Tara and I are at different schools and Dominique is overseas so her time in the U.S. is always limited. We went up to Phoenix, watched a bunch of movies, and of course played basketball. It felt like old times when we all played together.

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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