Hey Wildcat fans!
Senior weekend was one to remember. It started off slow but we were able to end on a good note. We faced UCLA on Thursday and took our first loss at home for the season. It wasn’t the prettiest of games. It was our first game without Cate. It was weird with her not being able to play. She is a trooper and has never missed a game or practice since I have been here. She is also scoring almost twenty points for us, so without her, everyone has to step up. Our opponents also start playing us a little differently.
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS PREVIOUS SAM’S CORNER COLUMNS BY SAM THOMAS
We were able to regroup on Friday at practice and get ready for USC which was also Senior Day. It was an early start to the morning but when I walked in the locker room around 7 a.m., my locker was decorated and had pictures of me throughout the years and also candies that I love. It was a great way to start the day and a huge thank you to my teammates and everyone that helped. During the game, it was very crucial to win, not only for the seniors but also for a spot to get a bye in the Pac-12 tournament. We were able to get the win and Taylor gave us huge minutes with her threes. It was a fun and emotional game and a great way to end the regular season in McKale.
To sum up the day: Huge thank you to Wildcat fans and all the love and support. Received our final four rings and got to have my family here (and yes that’s a real tattoo designed by me😊) pic.twitter.com/RUtuURVhkP
— Sam Thomas (@s_thomas14) February 27, 2022
After the game, we had our seniors walk out with their families and a little video played to show the progression of everyone’s career. As soon as the video started playing, it brought tears to my eyes. Then both of my parents started crying and at that point I couldn’t stop. I have had such an amazing time being a Wildcat and the fan support has been unreal. I never thought in a million years that I would be able to help make such an impact on the program and receive so much love from others.
Arizona basketball has been my pride and joy for so long and I have no idea what I am going to do once my time playing is over. I just want to say thank you to all the fans for making this journey the best time of my life. I am hoping that we will be able to be back in McKale two more times in the NCAA tournament, but first we have business to take care of in Vegas.
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 AllSportsTucson.com. Her honors at Arizona include:
2021 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2021 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American
Elite 90 Award Winner
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