Thomas named assistant coach at Loyola-New Orleans

Published 3:53 pm Friday, August 26, 2022

By Daniel Green | BWS Sports

NEW ORLEANS — After spending the last couple of years training some of the best young talent on the basketball court, Pickering alum Sami Thomas is taking it to another level.

Thomas was named assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Loyola University of New Orleans last week, rounding out the staff for head coach Kellie Kennedy and the Wolf Pack.

Thomas, the owner of Optimal Basketball in Baton Rouge, is thrilled to have this new challenge in her career.

“”I am humbled and excited,” Thomas said. “I am grateful for Coach Kennedy for giving me this opportunity.”

As a player at Pickering High School, Thomas was a four-time Vernon Parish Player of the Year, leading the Lady Red Devils to numerous appearances in the Ladies Top 28. Following her prep career, Thomas played at Northwestern State University, where the former all-stater was a point guard for the Lady Demons.

Upon leaving school, Thomas embarked on her dream of training young basketball players. Not only has Thomas trained young players in Vernon Parish, she has also had the opportunity to work with elite college athletes like Paige Buecker of the University of Connecticut and some professional players as well.

“I am excited about the addition of Sami to our staff,” Kennedy said. She will be a tremendous coach. Her drive and initiative are terrific and unique qualities. I am really looking forward to her being a part of the Wolf Pack.”

Thomas is the daughter of Eddie and Mary Thomas and she has one brother, Gett, who is the head coach for the Oakdale Warriors.