On March 2, Alyssa Thomas will become the ninth member of the Maryland Terrapins program to have her name and number honored in the rafters at Comcast Center. Swish Appeal caught up with the two-time defending ACC Player of the Year to discuss the honor and what has motivated her during her career.
Swish Appeal: Where does your competitive edge/fire come from?
Alyssa Thomas: “Just being told that I couldn’t do things — that I didn’t make certain teams. I’ve always been competitive, I hate to lose – I love to be first, that’s where it comes from. My parents instilled that in me early. I just try to go out there and play my hardest because I hate to lose.”
SA: How did it make you feel coming out of high school, being ranked so high, that you didn’t make the McDonald’s and WBCA All-American teams?
Thomas: “Well, I just sat back and watched the game, and just looked at it as I’m watching my competition. I get to watch who they said are the top players in the country. I just sat back and watched, took that into consideration and kept that in the back of my mind. And, I just wanted to go out there [when I got to college] and give it all as a player – just show people what I could do.”
Must Reads The versatility that makes Thomas a WNBA prospect Nate Parham Thomas’ fourth triple-double of the season. Alyssa Thomas: The female LeBron James Zack Ward Alyssa Thomas’ unique skill set makes her one of the best players in the country and maybe the best ever at Maryland, which has some people comparing her to LeBron James. Must Reads The versatility that makes Thomas a WNBA prospect Alyssa Thomas: The female LeBron James SA: Did you ever envision this kind of success when you got to college? And how does it make you feel to have this type of career at Maryland?
Thomas: “You never know what to expect when you come to college. But, the coaches tell you what they see in you and what you’re capable of doing; and you don’t really know it until things start falling into line. I can’t be happier with how things have played out for me at Maryland. I just have to thank my coaches and my teammates, because without them, not of this would be possible.”
SA: How does it make you feel to get your jersey retired?
Thomas: “Just to walk on the court, and you up look in the rafters and you see the players that hang up there. Just to think that yours is going up there with them, I couldn’t be more honored. These people that are in the rafters now set the legacy for Maryland, and I just tried to follow in their footsteps – I truly cannot more honored.”
SA: What’s your message to your coaches, teammates, the fans and the Maryland family?
Thomas: “Thank You – especially the coaches. They believed in me when others doubted in me, and they saw something great in me. For all of my teammates and the fans, they’ve just given me so many great memories that are going to stick with me for a lifetime. I really can’t even be more thankful.”
For more on where Thomas stands as a professional prospect, check out our 2014 WNBA Draft prospect watch storystream.