Sam Thomas Column

SAM’S CORNER: Sister Jade to cheer for me & Arizona in my last game at McKale

Hello Wildcat fans!

March Madness is finally here and it has already been a crazy adventure. Having the second day of games, we got to watch all the other women’s games Friday. It was nice to have a day to rest and watch all the other teams go at it and eliminate each other.

As many of you know, our first game was against my sister Jade and her team UNLV. It was weird having her be in Tucson since Thursday but I wasn’t able to see her because both of us are staying in hotels with our teams. The first time I saw her was the day of the game, we were leaving our locker room to head to the weight room to stretch while the game before us was going on. She was standing in the walkway of the gym watching the North Carolina game. I screamed her name and she came over to say hi. All my teammates said hi to her as well and the new ones that haven’t meant her yet said it was like someone copied and pasted my face onto Jade because of how similar we looked. It was weird that it was the first time I saw her because while she was in her hotel my family went and visited her. My boyfriend, Lucas, went and visited her and brought Proxy with him since he’s watching her while I’m in the hotel. I was getting facetimes with Jade, Proxy, and Lucas all together while I was on the other side of Tucson.

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During the game, I was so focused that I didn’t get the chance to really look at Jade and mess with her. The game was a little closer than we had wanted it to be. However, at this point in the season a win is a win and we will take it. Seeding doesn’t determine who is going to win the game because everyone is playing with something at stake and doesn’t want to go home.

After the game, we were able to hang out in the gym with our families. I was able to talk with Jade and joked around lightening the mood. She is doing well and will be at our game on Monday against North Carolina wearing her full-on Arizona gear that she will probably steal from my closet.

With that being said, Monday will be my last game in McKale whether I like it or not. The NCAA is not giving out free years this time. My time playing in McKale has come to an end but the season doesn’t need to be done just yet, we got a few more games left to be played with the help of all the fans. We need to have McKale going crazy on Monday night and show everyone why we have the best fans in America. I hope to see everyone at the game and have a great atmosphere in the gym. I came to Arizona to help build this program and it would be special to see the arena filled, knowing that we still have room to develop, but that I accomplished my mission of growing this program.

Sam Thomas is a senior leader with Adia Barnes’ program in 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
2019, 2021 and 2022 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American
Elite 90 Award Winner
2021 All-Pac-12
2020 and 2022 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
2020, 2021 and 2022 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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