From the WABA to France to the WNBA, Shakayla Thomas Is Seizing Her Second Chances

The former Florida State All-American is battling for a roster spot with the Las Vegas Aces

Las Vegas Aces forward Shakayla Thomas sits on the bench on May 2, 2021, the day of a scrimmage against the Los Angeles Sparks. (Photo credit: Kris Lumague/Las Vegas Aces)

Three years ago, Shakayla Thomas hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream: make the Los Angeles Sparks’ opening-day roster.

“Wow, I’m really here,” she recalled telling herself when the plane landed. “I’m really about to be here for however long … This is setting in that now it’s really time to get to work.”

The Sparks drafted Thomas at No. 23 in 2018, which was a little lower than she had expected but a selection she was grateful for nonetheless. Thomas was a three-time All-American at Florida State and left the program ranked second all-time in career points with 1,971. As a senior, she averaged 17.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field.

Playing alongside All-Stars Candace Parker, Chelsea Gray and Nneka Ogwumike, Thomas made it to the final day of the Sparks’ training camp before getting cut. Until a few weeks ago, that was the end of her WNBA story.

But three years later, after two stints playing overseas and the birth of her son Kashton, Thomas signed a training camp contract with the Las Vegas Aces and is currently competing for a roster spot.

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