Thomas is the third player from the state of Alabama to make the All-American game. Former Auburn standout and WNBA player Dewanna Bonner played in the All-American game in 2005 and former University of Alabama standout Kaneisha Horn played in the All-American game in 2010.
“It is a great day for the city of Sylacauga and it is a great day for the state of Alabama,” Sylacauga head coach Derrick Crawford said. “We are very elated around here and very proud of Shakayla. This is something me and Shakayla have talked about since she was a freshman. We talked about being an All-American and being one of the best players in American not just the state of Alabama. We accomplished one of our goals. She is very excited and I am excited. The whole administration at this high school is excited for Shakayla. This is a great accomplishment for her in her high school career to be able to go out and play on a huge stage. We are just overwhelmed and proud of her today.”
Thomas was named to the East team at the wing position. The Florida State Signee is ranked 12th in the espnW HoopGurlz 100 rankings.
Thomas averages 35.7 points, 15 rebounds, six steals and four assists per game on the season.
This season, she scored a career high 53 points against Talladega. In the last four games she is averaging 39 points per game. The Lady Aggies (21-3) are the fourth ranked team in Class 5A.
Thomas’ play on the AAU circuit played a major role in her being noticed as one of the best players in the nation. In November, Thomas had the opportunity to play the top players in the nation during a showcase in Atlanta and her play there proved that she was one of the best players in the nation.
“They had a ball game that they brought in the best of the best in Atlanta right before the basketball season,” Crawford said. “It was on a Friday and Saturday and our principal allowed her to go to that showcase. All the top voters to see if she was going to get in the All-American game were there. She went and she had the opportunity to go against the No.1 player in America A’ja Wilson on that Friday night. They went head to head and Shakayla had 28 points against her. She got to match up against the No.1 player in America and she held her own. That right there sealed the deal. She was already out there because of her play on the AAU circuit this past summer. They won the National Championship and we think that catapult to the top. She went to the Ball N Prep tournament at Faulkner over the Christmas break and one of those guys that run that, Prentice Beverley gets to vote for kids to play in the All-American game. After the tournament at Faulkner, he felt like she had a great opportunity to be on that roster. We felt like we had a legitimate shot of making that roster and she did. After going to Atlanta and matching up with the No.1 player in America and holding her own she was just real able to catapult over the top after that tournament. That next day they had a showcase and they kept the best of the best and they had some individual work then they played another All-Star game. Her and Nene (Bolton) got to stay the extra day to get the opportunity to play against the top 24.”