Sam Thomas made her professional debut with Phoenix Mercury

It’s real. Sam Thomas He is a professional basketball player. The former Arizona winger made his debut as a Phoenix Mercury player in a pre-season game against the Seattle Storm Thursday night. Mercury lost to Storm 82-78, but that’s not what the prequel is about anyway. It’s about getting ready.

“I was very nervous,” Thomas said. “Maybe it was the most tense thing since the national championship game. I was freaking out. I was so scared. I got out of there and took my first shot and walked in, and my whole body tightened. I was so scared. But I talked to Diana (Torasi) and I said, ‘I’m so nervous ‘ She said, ‘Just run fast, run hard, and bounce. All you have to do are the little things and it’s going to take your nerves on it. That’s exactly what I tried to do. Then I knew when I’m open to the shots, I hit them and just do my job. So I just tried to focus on my job and what I can do and what I can control.”

It wasn’t just a debut. Just weeks after being announced as part of the final starting lineup for the Wildcats season at McKale Center, it was announced as a starter at the Footprint Center alongside game greats like Tina Charles And Skylar Diggins Smith. On the other side of the court were So Bird And Briana Stewart.

“I was kind of expecting to come in here maybe to watch the first few minutes, watch the stars, but, of course, with the outside and some people playing for the limited minutes, it got off to the start, so it was very stressful,” Thomas said. “But it was fun. I kind of had to get my nerves out the first few minutes and then settle down a bit.”

And Thomas did her job, taking full advantage of the opportunity presented to her. I played the high team 27 minutes. She went 3-on-3 from a distance, and finished the night with nine points and one rebound. She also left some good first impressions on the people she needed to impress.

“I was really impressed by Sam Thomas,” Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard She said. “Really step up, making big plays. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I yelled at her. I said, ‘Make a play!” and she made a play.”

Mercury has another chance for Thomas to impress their coaches before they have to scale the list down to 12 or less. The team will play the Los Angeles Sparks on April 30. At some point between now and May 6, Thomas will find out if she’ll ever wear the Phoenix costume again and officially represent her certified professional status.

Mercury has a roster of 18 people in camp. They should lower that to 12 or less before May 6. They must also be under the salary cap. The team will keep some players who will not play. Kia nurse He was injured and will be out all year.

Britney Greiner She is currently imprisoned in Russia where she was arrested for allegedly carrying vape cartridges containing a quantity of cannabis oil. When or if she will return this season is up in the air, as is how her salary is calculated against the Mercury salary cap.

All of these things will affect whether Thomas is able to secure a place on the list. If you get one of these wanted 144 WNBA List of positions, you will sign a contract worth $60,471.

unlike Ari MacDonald, who was picked in the lottery last year and hailed as a future WNBA star who left Arizona, Thomas went without drafting. Her ability to step in, deal with nerves and do something she hadn’t always done in Arizona – the result – was huge displays of what she could do. They also thought of others because Thomas was more than herself on Thursday night. She represented the state of Arizona.

“Adia has done an amazing job with this program, and Sam has been a great reflection of that,” said Nygaard.

Now, Thomas is back in practice and hopes for good news.