Kathryn Thomas wanted the chance to play big-time college basketball.
So instead of accepting an offer to play at East Carolina or Eastern Kentucky out of high school in Flint, Mich., the 5-foot-6 guard spent this past season at Highland (Kan.) Community College.
“I pretty much accomplished everything I set out to do,” Thomas said. “Iowa needed a point guard, and we connected.”
Thomas is expected to fax in her national letter of intent Friday and join the Iowa women’s basketball team. She has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Driving home from Kansas on Thursday evening, Thomas said she intended to enroll at Iowa this summer and play in the Game Time League with the other Hawkeyes.
“They are family-oriented, and it felt like home there,” Thomas said. “I had a close relationship with (assistant coach) Shannon Gage.”
Gage had recruited Thomas while she was in high school, but Iowa had plenty of depth at guard.
But with the graduation of Kamille Wahlin, plus injuries to Jaime Printy and Trisha Nesbitt, Iowa had a need.
“She is the ultimate competitor,” Flint Hamady coach Keith Smith said. “I don’t care if it’s a pickup game, she comes to win. She has an excellent work ethic. She’s a winner.”
Smith said that in Thomas’ four seasons, Flint Hamady only lost three games and won two state championships. Thomas played for two seasons with Michigan State guard Jasmine Thomas.
“We played them together, and I used Katherine to defend the other team’s best perimeter player and she would lock them down,” Smith said.
When Jasmine Thomas graduated, Kathryn Thomas had to take over a bigger scoring role and a bigger role as an offensive facilitator. Smith said she took to both roles.
It carried over to college. In her one season at Highland, she led the Scotties to a 28-4 record, was named the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, and earned NJCAA first-team All-American honors.
She led the conference with 20.3 points per game and averaged 2.94 steals per game. She made 30 3-pointers and 154 free throws over 32 games.
“She’ll be fine in the Big Ten,” Smith said. “She’s strong for her size, and she’s been playing against good competition.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball