After seven years in the WNBA, Jasmine Thomas is finally getting the recognition she deserves with her first All-Star selection.
For guard Jasmine Thomas of the Connecticut Sun, the 2017 WNBA season will be one she and her fans will remember for quite a while.
After seven years and three different WNBA teams, Thomas has found a place in Connecticut where she has been given the chance to show what she can do. Second-year head coach Curt Miller has put a system in place that plays to Thomas’ strengths and the results are astounding.
So far this season Thomas is averaging 15 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists per game. She has emerged as a leader for the Sun and is a huge part of the reason Connecticut, a team most thought would miss the postseason, is in the middle of the playoff hunt.
Thomas also made an conscious effort during an offseason playing in Israel to improve her shooting from beyond the arc and it has paid off big time.
Thomas is currently shooting 49.3 percent from the 3-point line. That has translated into 35 made threes so far this season, which is more than she has during any other season in her career. She recently talked to WNBA.com about her accuracy from beyond the arc and says it all comes down to confidence.
“Obviously, I’m shooting the 3 and my percentage is pretty high. It’s not that I’m not taking a lot of them. I’m putting them up, and I’m looking to take them and they are going in. The most noticeable thing, for us, is that I’m playing with confidence and not letting anything get to me.”
The result is that the rest of the WNBA has stood up and taken notice of what Thomas brings to the game, many for the first time. It’s why fans are calling this a “breakout” season for the 27-year-old, something she can appreciate, but doesn’t necessarily agree with.
“It doesn’t really feel that way to me. I guess if you are looking at the numbers, it looks that way on paper.”
Breakout season or not, Thomas found out Tuesday that her skills have earned her a free trip to Seattle. For the first time in her career, Thomas has been named as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the WNBA All-Star Game. She will be joined by teammate and fellow first-time All-Star Jonquel Jones as they head west to play with the best the WNBA has to offer.
Thomas recognizes the road it took her to get where she is today, telling WNBA.com:
“It has not been a straight path to get here. Three teams and seven seasons later it definitely feels good. I’m super excited and happy to be with my teammate. I’m definitely excited and it means a lot. For the people who voted for me, the media, everybody to believe in me that much, it wouldn’t be possible without being on a team like I am. I feel like I’m representing Connecticut there.”
With the season at the midway point and teams getting ready for the run to the postseason, it looking more and more like the Sun will be right in the thick of it. And a big part of the reason why is Jasmine Thomas.
As I said above, the 2017 season will likely not be a season Thomas will forget anytime soon. But something tells me this won’t be the last time we will mention the words “All-Star” and “Jasmine Thomas” in the same sentence.