Thomas named KIAC Female Athlete of the Year

BEREA, Ky. — University of Rio Grande women’s basketball standout Brianna Thomas has been named the 2014-15 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Female Athlete of the Year.

Thomas, a senior from Newark, N.J. and a second team NAIA Division II All-America selection, averaged a team-high 18.0 points, 5.4 assists and 3.9 steals per game in leading the RedStorm to their first national tournament appearance since 2008.

Thomas, who was named the KIAC Player of the Year, led the conference in assists and steals and ranked in the top five nationally in both categories. She also ranked 15th nationally in total scoring (595).

Thomas, who came to Rio prior to the 2013-14 season from Cecil Community College and was named an NAIA Division I Honorable Mention All-American in her first season with the RedStorm, also joined the program’s 1,000-point club this season, finishing with 1,205 points over the course of her two seasons.

She finished her Rio career in the top 12 on the school’s all-time leaders list in assists, steals and three-point goals, while her 178 assists during the 2014-15 campaign set a new single-season school record.

“I don’t think there’s any question that Bri is deserving of the honor,” said Rio Grande women’s basketball head coach David Smalley. “She was a very dynamic player for us in each of the two seasons that we had her in our program. She had the ability to do things on the court for us that a lot of kids can’t do. She’ll be very difficult to replace.”

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.