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Alyssa Thomas returns to the Connecticut Sun

It was announced today that Alyssa Thomas has signed a multi-year contract with the Connecticut Sun. Thomas returns for her eighth year in the WNBA in 2021, all with Connecticut.

Per team policy, terms were not released.

“Despite the recent injury, it was important to show our loyalty for all that Alyssa Thomas has done for our franchise,” General Manager and Head Coach, Curt Miller said. “AT has established herself as one of the premier players in the world. AT, known as our engine, is a fierce competitor and a defensive stopper. Offensively, she is a versatile facilitator who helps establish our attacking tempo. We know she will return from this set back better than ever.”

Selected fourth overall in the 2014 WNBA Draft by New York and traded to Connecticut on draft night, the Sun acquired the Maryland graduate in a three-player trade, sending Tina Charles to New York in return for Kelsey Bone and Thomas.

The past two seasons, Thomas has established herself as the top facilitating forward in the league. In last year’s shortened regular season played in Bradenton, Fla., she averaged a career-high in points (15.5), rebounds (9.0), defensive rebounds (7.2), assists (4.8) and steals (2.0) per game in 21 competitions. Thomas ranked first in the WNBA in steals per game, second in rebounds per game and finished in the top five for defensive rebounds per game.

Thomas helped the Sun overcome a 0-5 start to advance to Game 5 of the WNBA Semifinals. In seven postseason contests, Thomas averaged 18.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals. In addition, she shot 51.5 percent from the field and 78.1 percent from the freethrow line.

Thomas concluded the 2020 season eclipsing numerous milestones. She tallied her 1300th career rebound and 600th career assist, played in her 200th career game and set a new WNBA playoff record for offensive rebounds (10). Thomas also posted seven double-doubles in the regular season and three additional during the postseason, making her the franchise leader in that category during the postseason with nine.

In 2019, the Sun blazed their way to game five of the WNBA Finals. Thomas averaged 11.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game during the regular season. In eight postseason contests, the 6-2 forward tallied 16.0 points per game, 9.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game. In the five-game WNBA Finals series vs. the Washington Mystics, she averaged 18.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists, making the former Terp the only player to average 15+ points, 7+ rebounds, and 7+ assists in a WNBA Finals series. Additionally, Thomas set the WNBA finals record for total assists (38), assists in a quarter (7) and assists in a half (8).

“I’m very happy to be continuing my career with the Sun,” Thomas said. “Wha​t we have been able to accomplish over the last few seasons has been really special, but the job isn’t done. I’m going to do everything I can to help bring home a championship for this team, our fans and the Mohegan Tribe. I am truly grateful for their belief in me.”

Since arriving to Connecticut, Thomas has etched her name in the Sun’s history book. At the end of the 2020 season she positioned herself in the top five in four major statistical categories. Thomas has competed in 201 regular season games which places her fifth all-time. During that time, she has amassed 2352 points, 1361 rebounds and 608 assists. She currently ranks fourth in total rebounds and fifth in both points and assists.

During her seven-year career, Thomas has been named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team (2020), the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team (2017, 2019), the WNBA All-Rookie Team (2014) and has been named a WNBA All-Star twice (2017, 2019). In addition, she’s earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week four times.

via: Sun PR


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