When Sylacauga’s Shakayla Thomas was named to the North girls basketball Alabama All-Star roster in May, it came as no surprise.
One of the best players in Alabama high school history, Thomas continued to shine in Wednesday’s North-South game at ASU’s Acadome as she helped lead her team to a 84-36 victory.
With all the hype surrounding her, Thomas has learned to flourish while under pressure. The two-time 5A Player of the Year put up 43 points in this year’s season-ending 68-66 loss to Valley.
On Wednesday, the 6-foot wing player found a way to stand out despite being surrounded by the state’s best.
“They’re the best on their team,” Thomas said. “Everybody together makes it one good challenge. It was a good challenge for them and me.”
Thomas led both teams in scoring with 19 points and added five rebounds in 14 minutes before claiming the North’s Most Valuable Player honors.
“It’s one of those goals I always wanted to achieve when I was young, but it was a good team,” Thomas said. “I played with some good people.”
Thomas has made a statement on the court since clinching a starting spot on varsity as a seventh-grader.
As an eighth-grader, she was already fielding a scholarship offer from Auburn and her talent has continued to turn heads as she develops. The rising senior holds the state’s prep school record for rebounds (2,229) and has led Sylacauga in scoring all five years with a school record 3,105 points.
Thomas averaged 31.9 points per game this season, a feat that earned her national attention. EESPNW HoopGurlz Super 60 ranked Thomas 29th for the class of 2014.
Yet despite all the individual recognition Thomas has accumulated over the years, one honor is missing.
“State championship for the high school,” Thomas said. “I’ve been dreaming of that since I was 7 or 8. Senior year, it’s my chance.”