« Women’s Basketball 2020-21

IImar’I Thomas

School

University of Cincinnati

Position
Forward
Major
Sports Administration
IImar’I Thomas Finalist Vote Now

Classroom

Thomas is on pace to earn her sports administration degree from the University of Cincinnati this summer. An American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team selection, she was a Dean’s List honoree for the Spring 2020 semester and is a three-time Bearcats Academic Honor Roll recipient.

Character

Thomas has grown into a vocal leader and mentor to younger players following the departure of veterans Antoinette Miller, Angel Rizor, and Sam Rodgers. Despite off-season limitations due to the outbreak of COVID-19, she spearheaded efforts to help organize Zoom calls and lead team meetings to foster team unity, the integration of newcomers and returning players, and communicate preseason training and team goals and expectations for the coming season.

Thomas also met with team members and led discussions to help craft the team’s statement on the nation’s social injustice issue. Her strong work ethic, belief in herself, and strong character have been evident since her arrival on Cincinnati’s campus as a freshman at the age of 16. Despite her young age, Thomas developed throughout the season, earning AAC Freshman of the Year accolades and unanimous selection to the AAC’s All-Freshman Team. 

Community

Thomas has volunteered numerous hours of her time to help better serve Greater Cincinnati communities during her collegiate career. She has interacted with and encouraged Cincinnati youth during visits to area Boys and Girls Clubs, a nearby Ronald McDonald House and local YMCA youth clinics.

Also a favorite among youth attending the annual UC women’s basketball summer camps, Thomas quickly creates a mentoring relationship with younger children thanks in part to her warm and engaging personality. 

Competition

A 2019-20 WBCA honorable mention All-American, two-time first team All-AAC selection, 2018 AAC Freshman of the Year, and 2020-21 AAC Co-Preseason Player of the Year, Thomas has enjoyed a standout career at Cincinnati.

A preseason candidate for the 2020-21 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award Watch List, Thomas has ranked among the nation’s best in numerous statistical categories, including scoring where she has been listed among the top 5 players throughout the 2020-21 season.

She is on pace to finish her career as the only Bearcat ranked among the top 5 players in school history for most points, rebounds, and blocks. During her career, Thomas has helped guide the Bearcats to tremendous growth, compiling back-to-back 20-win seasons the previous two seasons and securing a second-place finish in the 2019-20 AAC regular-season standings and a runner-up finish in the 2020 AAC Tournament.