Sophomore guard is becoming a leader

Desyree Thomas got her start by playing basketball with the boys in her apartment complex. It was not until the fourth grade when they had tryouts that she actually joined a team.

Thomas, who is now a sophomore guard for Eastern Michigan University, has enjoyed playing on different teams and taking advantage of the opportunities basketball has given her.

“My favorite thing about basketball is the teams that I play on,” Thomas said. “And the outlet that it allows me to have for everything else in my life.”

Thomas is from Waterford, Mich., and graduated from Mott High School, where she was a three-year letter winner. In her senior season she averaged 14.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.7 steals and 4.4 assists.

She was ranked as the No. 2 point guard in the state of Michigan and No. 11 overall by Michigan Lady Ballers, as well as, the seventh-best point guard in Michigan by Michigan Rankings. Her Coach Jessica Cox said she was, “the most talented player ever coached.”

Thomas made an early commitment to attend EMU and other schools were never really an option in her mind. She knew early on Eastern would be her new home for a number of reasons.

“It’s only an hour away from my family,” Thomas said. “I just like the atmosphere here; the coaching staff, the team. Some of the players that I knew I was coming in with I had played AAU with.”

In her first season with the Eagles, Thomas saw action in 36 games. She finished the season with 67 points, 29 steals and 28 assists.

“My greatest improvement since coming to EMU would be trying to become more of leader,” Thomas said. “Stepping into the point guard role overall. I was more of a defensive player last year, and I always played defense in high school, but it’s more about stepping up and leading

Stepping into the point guard role can be a difficult task, but Thomas is proving she can take the challenge head on. This season she has started in each of the team’s contests and is averaging 6.8 points, 4.2 assists and 3.4 steals. She scored a career-high 13 points against Marygrove (Nov. 14) and Canisius (Nov. 27). She brought down 12 rebounds Dec. 30 against Seattle.

“When she has the energy on defense, she gets the job done,” teammate Natachia Watkins said.

“She’ll rip people at half-court, full-court. She gets her hands in the passing lanes a lot to get a lot of deflections and she sets the tone on defense, definitely.”

In her free time, Thomas keeps herself busy with art and dancing. She is also into graphic design and computers.

“She’s always drawing,” Watkins said. “Sometimes she comes to practice with art all on her hand, then it’ll all smear off.”

Most people have a birthmark of some sort but not a lot of people have a birthmark in their eye. Thomas said her father has one in his eye and he passed the trait down to her.

After her time at Eastern, Thomas plans to attend medical school.

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