Krystal Thomas Goes With The Flow
Thomas is coming off a senior prep season in which she was named the state tourney MVP in 2007. She averaged 20.0 ppg., 12.0 rpg., 1.0 apg., 1.2 spg. and 2.2 bpg. to help her squad to 29-3 and a state title. The Duke signee earned several more honors, including a 2007 McDonald's and WBCA All-American nod. She was also tabbed as a 2007 Gatorade State Player of the Year, Miss Florida Basketball and honored as a 2007 Parade Magazine and EA Sports All-America first team selection and as a USA Today All-USA second team member.
Thomas talked with usabasketball.com about her dancing, adjusting to her new team and about playing with another unrelated Thomas, fellow Duke recruit, Jasmine.
What type of dancing have you done?
I haven't really tried different types. I just like to have fun at clubs.
Have you been dancing for a while, or is it more so something you've picked up in your teenage years?
I started doing it more in my teenage years. I like music and hip hop a lot. Also my teammates and I will put on music and just have fun dancing.
Do you think that dancing and rhythm help with basketball?
It definitely does because you have to have a lot of good footwork in basketball and so does dancing. You have to have the timing and footwork for both of them. They kinda intertwine.
This is your first experience with USA Basketball, but you've certainly played with other traveling teams. Drawing on that past exposure, how long do you think it takes a new group to gel?
It depends on the type of people that you have on a team. If you have a team where everyone is friendly and everyone is all about their teammates, chemistry can come really quickly like with this team. Otherwise it does take longer.
Do you think it is important to be friends for a team to really work well?
Yeah, I think so. When everyone is so close on and off the court, it helps on the court.
Because of all the time you and your teammates spend together, do you ever get sick of one another?
No, not really. You just have make sure to give everyone their space.
What special skills do you think you bring to this team?
Definitely my athleticism and versatility for my height, just the fact that I can move quickly up and down the floor and beat other bigs.
How did you develop those skills?
I would have to say by playing with guys all the time. I'd go outside in my driveway and play against my neighbors who were all guys.
Have some of the guys stopped playing against you because you're better than them at this point?
I've had to stop playing against some of them because I've gotten better. As I've gotten better, I've played against better guys. I've just kept moving up. A lot of the guys get mad if I beat them.
Jasmine Thomas and you are not related, but you're going to Duke together next year. How well did you know one another before coming here?
For the past four years, we've played AAU against one another. Once we found out that I had committed to Duke and she had committed to Duke, we started talking to each other more. Last summer we played at a camp together, then there was the McDonald's game and other games. We've gotten to know each other more over the last year and a half.
How do you think this summer helps prepare you two for going to Duke this fall?
It gets you ready for the more physical, disciplined play compared to the high school unstructured play.
What does it feel like to be part of this U19 team?
It is a dream come true to wear the USA and go out and play and represent our country, To be able to see the world and spend time with some great people will be awesome.
Any goals for this U19 team?
Just to go out there and win gold.