Monday, March 9, 2009 | midnight
Misty Thomas did everything for the Runnin’ Rebels women’s basketball team. Her contributions on and off the court make her one of the greats for UNLV. As a point guard with the Rebels, Thomas was the star, scoring points and breaking down defenses to get the Rebels to the NCAA tournament for the first time ever.
Before Thomas came to play for UNLV, the Rebels had never made the NCAA tournament. By the time her college career was over, thee Rebels had gone twice.
Thomas could score with the best, but she could also dish out assists better than nearly anyone on the court.
She is the Rebels career leading in assists (658), second leader in scoring (1,892 points) and is sixth in career rebounds (790). In 1985, Basketball News Service named her a second team All-American and she was the Big West Conference Player of the Year.
Thomas, of Windsor, Ontario, also played on Canada’s national team for seven years and competed in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.
Thomas is a member of the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame and her jersey hangs from the Thomas & Mack Center’s rafters.
As much as Thomas accomplished on the basketball court, she was equally successful in the classroom. Three times Thomas was named an Academic All-American.
After playing for the Rebels, Thomas became an assistant coach with UNLV, and then a head coach at the University of British Columbia. She also started a program called “Night Hoops” in Vancouver that is designed to help high-risk kids. Thomas recently teamed up with the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association and competes on the Canadian Wheelchair team. While she is still able to walk, several knee surgeries prevent her from playing standup basketball anymore, so she has now moved to play in the wheelchair games.