Nov. 14, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – One of the most highly-sought players in the 2014 recruiting class has officially signed her National Letter of Intent to Florida State women’s basketball, as Top 15 player Shakayla Thomas inked her NLI to FSU on Thursday afternoon.
“Shakayla has the ability to raise our athleticism even to another level,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Her explosiveness, her strength, and I think probably more than anything her passion and love for the game will help bring us to another level.”
The native of Sylacauga, Ala., is a strong, athletically gifted forward who stands at 5-foot-11 and can score in a variety of ways. Thomas is rated as the No. 12 overall player in the 2014 recruiting class according to Dan Olson Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, as well as the third-ranked small forward.
All-Star Girls Report has Thomas ranked 15th overall and the second-ranked small forward. Proving that her athleticism is one of the best in this year’s class, Thomas is known to be able to dunk the basketball.
Lauded as the top hoops player out of the state of Alabama, Thomas gained plenty of attention at Sylacauga High School after putting up mind-boggling numbers through her junior season. Last year, Thomas averaged 31.9 points per game as well as 14.5 rebounds and shot 52 percent from the floor.
Heading into her senior season, the explosive scorer with a precise mid-range game has already set career marks that put her among the all-time great Alabama women’s basketball players at the amateur level. Thomas already owns the Alabama High School Athletic Association record for career rebounds with 2,222, and begins her final season 12th all-time with 3,105 points. Thomas has a legitimate opportunity to be the fifth player in AHSAA history to surpass the 4,000-point barrier.
“Shakayla has a variety of attributes,” travel ball coach Doug Bush said. “She can score and that’s well-noted. She can score when she has to and needs to, whether it’s one-on-one or in other ways. She brings the complete game - she can play lockdown defense and has already guarded some of the best players in the country. I think her total game has been great in terms of rebounding, passing and being a team player. She’ll bring leadership to FSU as time goes on.”
The Florida State signee, who has led her varsity squad in scoring every season since the seventh grade, is a two-time Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 5A Girls Player of the Year. She is also a two-time First Team 5A All-State performer.
As a sophomore in 2011-12, Thomas dominated play as well when she averaged 33 points, 16 rebounds and five assists per contest. It was the first time she earned the Alabama Class 5A Player of the Year award as she looks to win it for a third consecutive season in 2014.
Florida State’s roster for the 2014-15 season is stockpiled with athleticism, and the addition of Thomas gives it another added dimension who can score in bunches.
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