Last year to be the best for Maryland's Alyssa Thomas

Maryland's Alyssa Thomas has a number of awards to her name. But her quest for an award that's eluded her, National Champion, begins tomorrow. Photo: Alyssa Thomas / AP Images

WASHINGTON, DC, October 28, 2013 — Alyssa Thomas won the ACC Player of the Year title in 2011. Then she won it again. Thomas led the ACC in points, rebounds and assists last year. She trained with the US National team in Las Vegas over the summer. And last Wednesday, Maryland point guard Alyssa Thomas was voted ACC Preseason Player of the Year.

Is there anything she cannot do?

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With one final day until the Terps start their season in an exhibition game against Catholic University, Maryland’s squad is holding off on celebrating. Instead, they are training, practicing and making final adjustments, hoping to add another title to Thomas’ name, National Champion.

“What I love about where Alyssa is right now is that she’s savoring every moment,” Coach Brenda Frese said at a media day on Oct 9. “That’s a pretty cool thing to be able to watch from afar in terms of just enjoying every single second she gets with her teammates and her coaches.”

Thomas’ run at Maryland has been far from easy. The senior has had to switch from forward to point guard in a challenging league, while continuing to score much needed points. But each game and each season she has done better than expected. As of now, Thomas is the only player in NCAA or WNBA history to average over 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for an entire season.

“I think for me now to be able to see in her past three years everything we’ve asked her to do, again when you start talking about National Player of the Year I don’t think you could put any other player in the spot that Alyssa’s been asked to do in the course of her time and anyone could do it better,” Frese said.

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“She does it with just a will to win, to be able to help the name across her chest.”

It is the last year not just for Thomas and her class to win an ACC championship, but for the name on their chest. With Maryland moving to the Big 10 next season, even the freshmen, sophomores and juniors know this is the last time, and for some the first time, that they will face the likes of Duke, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Virginia.  

And they know it is the last year that they will play alongside someone who Frese calls, “a once in a lifetime player to coach.”

“[Thomas] is just absolutely amazing and I am so thankful that I have the privilege and opportunity to play with her,” teammate Chloe Pavlech said. “Because if you do get a chance to play with her you will truly understand why she is the best. She makes me better and she makes this whole team better, and she’s going to have a break out senior year, no doubt in my mind.”

Maryland faces Catholic University in an exhibition game Tuesday night at Comcast Center before taking on Holy Family in its final exhibition game Nov 2.

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Alex Sopko

Alex may be one of the few sports writers who doesn’t have a favorite team. Or a favorite sport. But she does have favorite stories. Buying into the words “it’s not the score that matters, it’s the athlete,” Alex has for the past six years covered personal sports stories that range from inspiring to fascinating to down right weird.


Alex is a former Division I athlete and sports editor at Harvard University. After interning with The Washington Times sports department in 2009, she now contributes regularly to the Washington Times Metro, Sports, and Communities sections.


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