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20 Facts About Alyssa Thomas that aren't Related to her Shoulders

Feel free to pass this along to any WNBA announcers you know

· Alyssa Thomas,Connecticut Sun,General

I get it. The fact AT is dominating in the playoffs with absolutely no shoulders is very impressive. But did you know you can talk about things besides her labrums?

1. AT comes from a basketball family. Her parents are basically a Love & Basketball story: they both played college basketball and bonded over the game. Her mom even went with the hyphenated name and seems to be an absolute gem:

They played one-on-one too, with Tina [Alyssa's mom] telling her future husband, "I will hack the heck out of you if you ever try to dunk on me."​

2. Her mom signed her up for basketball and Alyssa had a fit about it, but she later fell in love with the game. I encourage you to watch the tagged video just for the very charming way she says "bonjour swish swish" at the beginning.

3. Her brother is also a professional basketball player, playing overseas. He describes his sister as "unguardable." This will become a theme.

4. She was a ladybug:

5. She grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Also the hometown of Newt Gingrich, so Harrisburg got a big upgrade with the Klotzbeecher-Thomas family.

6. She went to Maryland for college. She decided not to go to Duke because people there were rude, which is the correct take:

7. She's Maryland's all-time points leader across men's and women's basketball. (I don't know how to confirm whether this is a current record so we're sticking with it.) She also got all sorts of other awards there too. I would call her college years a success.

8. While at Maryland, she played with fellow WNBA star Lexie Brown, and now plays with two other former Terps: Kaila Charles ('20) & Brionna Jones ('17).

9. For fellow non-NCAA watchers, Maryland are the Terrapins, and they go by the horrible nickname the "Terps." Here is a deep-dive into their mascot , who briefly decided to turn into muscular nightmare fuel in 2014. Research did not reveal AT's relationship with Testudo.

10. Thomas was drafted 4th by the Connecticut Sun in the 2014 WNBA draft. She almost immediately became a starter and was named to the 2014 All-Rookie Team.

11. Her teammates call her "The Engine" and Connecticut's stadium plays engine revving noises when she scores (warning: link heavily discusses labrums!!).

12. While trying to Google the source of the nickname, I learned that Alyssa is also the name of a tugboat in the Thomas the Tank Engine-verse, and although she's had little screen time, she has a dynamic personality:

While appearing serious and professional, Alyssa is anything but. A hard worker, Alyssa is always willing to help out, but when it comes to her secret missions, she is quick to defend herself, to the point that she may attack them. In her words, she’s a “firecracker”, Alyssa may go off at any point, not afraid of consequences. Edward compares her to her owner, Mr. S, as both of them are quick to act without thinking. While she may appear rude and abrasive, Alyssa will slowly warm up engines and people she trusts, albeit a bit antisocial at times.​

13. You may know that she switched her shooting hand mid-career (she is right-handed but always played with her left hand), but did you know she made the decision and did it on her own, without the help of any coaches?

14. In the WNBA, she has maintained the reputation of being impossible to guard:

Her former teammate Courtney Williams put it best in her iconic hype-up video:

[She's] the toughest person in the league right now, nobody can hold [her].​

15. While you can't stop her, she can probably stop you. She was 3rd in DPOY voting this year and has made the All-Defensive second team twice.

16. She's super competitive off the court as well, proudly crushing her team in UNO.

17. She's a big Jurassic Park fan.

18. She can work nerd chic, and knows that the best accessory is flowers from your many awards:

And, what I call "nerd chic" Autostraddle calls "choke me daddy energy" in this absolutely incredible description of AT in their article on choosing the gayest WNBA team:

19. Alyssa interviewing herself went about how you would expect it to.

20. Finally, If she weren't a basketball player she would be a dentist. Didn't guess that one, did you?

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