She joins several other Lady Bulldogs in the professional ranks but is the first to be drafted by the WNBA. Former Lady Bulldog LaCharlotte Smith played for the Orlando Miracle during the 2000 season. Thomas becomes the first athlete to be drafted from the state of Mississippi in the WNBA.
"This is very exciting for LaToya as well as her Mississippi State family," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "We are very proud of all of the recognition she has received individually as well as the recognition her achievements have brought to the Lady Bulldog program and Mississippi State University. I am excited about her opportunity and look forward to watching her play in the WNBA."
Mississippi State guard Tan White agreed.
"I think it is great that she is the number one pick. It really represents how good she is and how well she plays."
Thomas joins six other number one picks in the seven-year old league: Sue Bird (2002), Lauren Jackson (2001), Ann Wauters (2000), Chamique Holdsclaw (1999), Margo Dydek (1998) and Dena Head (1997). Thomas becomes the third player from the SEC to be drafted as the first pick along with Holdsclaw and Head.
She is a four-time Kodak All-American becoming just the sixth player in NCAA history to receive this honor all four years of her career ... named to the Associated Press First Team All-America ... United States Basketball Writers Association All-America ... Senior CLASS Award First Team All-America ... 2003 Mississippi Amateur Athlete of the Year ... the second annual Senior CLASS Award winner ... she leads the SEC in scoring for the fourth straight year and has become the first women's player to achieve this feat in the conference ... has climbed into seventh place on the NCAA Career Scorer's Chart and second all-time in the SEC ... has eclipsed the all-time career scoring mark at MSU for men and women with 2,981 career points and has rewritten the record books in eight Lady Bulldog career categories: points (2,981), field goals made (1,119), field goals attempted (2,024), free throws made (709), free throws attempted (914), blocks (109), rebounds (1,108) and games played (125) ... seventh in MSU charts in steals (176) ... first Lady Bulldog to reach the 2,000-point and 1,000-rebound mark (with this accomplishment she is in second place in the SEC and fifth in the NCAA, ranked according to point totals) ... has posted 48 career double-doubles (12 this season) and has scored in double-figures in every game of her career (125) ... 2003 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year ... 2003 Associated Press SEC Player of the Year *First athlete to earn AP SEC Newcomer and Player of the Year honors in a career ... named to AP All-SEC First Team and All-SEC First Team ... named to the 2003 SEC All-Tournament Team ... ranks third nationally with 25.6 ppg *Averaged 27.2 ppg vs. SEC - 5.7 points more than next person ... finished the season ranked in several SEC categories: points (1st-25.6 ppg), offensive rebounds (1st-3.45 rpg), rebounding (2nd-9.1 rpg), defensive rebounds (3rd-5.65 rpg), free throw percentage (5th-.816) and field goal percentage (7th-.528) ... first place on the all-time SEC Career Free Throws Made chart with 709, passing Wendy Scholtens of Vanderbilt (1988-'91) ... moved into second place on the all-time SEC Career Scoring list with her 2,981 career points, passing Joyce Walker of LSU (1981-'84) ... named the SEC Player of the Week for the second time this season and seventh in her career ... set new preseason WNIT record with 42 points and a new preseason and postseason WNIT record with 20 field goals versus Tulsa (11/17/02) ... a Wade Trophy finalist and Honda Award finalist ... preseason Naismith Player of the Year Candidate -- Finalist for the Naismith.
Lady Bulldogs In The Pros
Sharon Thompson (1995-'98) - drafted as the sixth overall pick in the American Basketball League in 1998. Since then she has played overseas for PCR in Messinese, Italy.
LaCharlotte Smith (1993-'96) - was picked up by the Orlando Miracle for the 2000 season.
Nitra Perry (1997-'00) - played overseas for Lisbon, Portugal in 2002. She is now playing for the Birmingham Power, a member of the National Women's Basketball League. NWBL is an unofficial developmental league for the WNBA.
Meadow Overstreet (1997-01) - played overseas for I.S. in Iceland in 2000-01 and returned to play this year.
Cynthia Hall (1998-'01) - Hall graduated this past May at State in Fitness and Management and was invited to play in Holland for the Perik Jumpers.