Jasmine Thomas is only a rising senior in high school. The career statistics for Thomas, arguably one of the greatest — if not the greatest — Northern Region girls basketball player, have not been finalized. But it is the Oakton guard's accomplishments, coupled with her potential, that has, at such a young age, already catapulted her into Northern Region lore.
"I think Jasmine is going to surpass all of them," said Oakton girls basketball coach Fred Priester after naming some of the region's greatest girls basketball players.
So heralded was Thomas that before she even got to high school or recorded one point for Oakton, she was selected as a preseason All-American by Street and Smith's basketball publication. So impressive was Thomas in her freshman year that, according to Priester, a head coach of what he said was a Top-5 college basketball program offered up a full scholarship.
"She got her first bona fide scholarship offer as a freshman," said Priester, who would not name the college. "A college coach came here and said 'look, you can tell her parents and tell her the scholarship is there and it will remain there.'"
Along with a fourth-team all-American selection in every year she has been at Oakton, Thomas has been the Concorde District's Player of the Year three times, the Concorde District tournament's MVP twice, Concorde District Defensive Player of the Year once, and has been a first-team all-state selection every year. She was the AAA state Player of the Year as a sophomore.
"It is incredible when you start listing all the honors and yet, at times, I think, golly I would have thought it was more," said Priester. "Her impact is even larger than you think"
Thomas has been voted the Northern Region's Player of the Year three times and will look for her fourth regional POY crown in her senior season.
It's a conscious goal she has set for herself because "I don't know if that's ever been done before," said Thomas.
THOMAS IS accustomed to doing things that have not yet been done.
She has set and broken six school records while at Oakton.
Her other goal? "Winning a state championship," said Thomas of the title that has eluded her to this point. Despite streaking to a 25-1 record last season, Oakton did not make a state tournament appearance after losing to cross-town rival Madison in the Northern Region tournament. In fact, Oakton has been to the Virginia High School League AAA state tournament only once despite posting a 3-year 74-8 record.
"Whatever she feels about that, you could never tell it," said Priester.
As a sophomore, Thomas scored 21.6 points per game leading the Cougars to a 26-4 record and regional championship. Oakton fell to Forest Park in the state semifinals, a loss in which, despite illness, Thomas finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
As a freshman, she helped boost the Cougars to a 23-3 record scoring 20.2 points per game. In her career, Thomas has averaged 22.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 4.5 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game. She has notched 40 double-doubles, three triple-doubles, and owns the school records for points in a game (34), season points (650), career points (1,817), assists in a game (12), steals in a game (11), and rebounds in a game (16).
"She has never had a game over 34 points," said Priester. "There is a level of consistency. It is standard...It's every game consistency. She doesn't have the highs and lows."
THOMAS IS one of the most sought after public school girls basketball players that the state has ever seen. Boxes of recruiting letters sit in the homes of her parents as well as Preister and AAU coach Aggie McCormick's homes. There is not enough room to house all the recruiting letters at one residence.
"I have a top five now," said Thomas with a laugh as she named Duke, Maryland, University of Connecticut, University of Virginia and Louisiana State University as the schools receiving top consideration.
"Maryland and Duke have been the two schools that have been trying to recruit me for a long time. When I think back to who was there for the longest, they have been there for a long time," said Thomas.
Thomas knows that her famed jump shot and speed that have carried her to high school success will be equally matched at the next level.
"Strength will be a big factor because everyone else is going to be stronger," said Thomas. "I have to find other things to work with besides trying to out jump everyone else. Everyone else will be just as athletic."
For the second consecutive summer, Thomas will attend the Nike Girls Skills Academy at Nike World headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. The Nike Girls Skills Academy welcomes only the top 21 players from the country in an effort to help players elevate their game. The camp will be followed by a spell of several camps and tournaments that will keep her out of northern Virginia and away from home for the entire month of July.
Thomas' action-packed summer will not only keep her away from home, but off the campuses of Connecticut, Virginia, and LSU — all places where she has yet to make an official visit. She plans to make unofficial visits in an effort to have her collegiate decision made before next basketball season.
"I am going to make a decision before next season," said Thomas.
Jaz'ed Up Numbers
Points: Per Game: 22.1 Total: 1,817
Rebounds: Per Game: 8.1 Total: 665
Assists: Per Game: 4.3 Total: 356
Steals: Per Game: 4.5 Total: 367
Blocks: Per Game: 1.6 Total: 131
Field Goal Percentage: 52-percent
Free Throw Percentage: 73-percent
Three-point Percentage: 31-percent
Team Record: 74-8
Jasmine Thomas is 83 in a survey of the area's Top 100 Athletes by Connection Newspapers in 2000.