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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
[She's] the toughest person in the league right now, nobody can hold [her].
18. She can work nerd chic, and knows that the best accessory is flowers from your many awards: