TUCSON, Arizona — Sam Thomas had a rebound and an assist in eight minutes play in the Phoenix Mercury's season opening 106-88 loss to the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night.
Thomas, a five-year starter and captain for the Arizona Wildcats, made the Mercury's opening night roster despite not being drafted. She entered the game in the second quarter with Arizona coach Adia Barnes sitting in the front row wearing her Mercury jersey.
"My role is to play defense and bring that intensity at Arizona," said Thomas. "And, obviously, hit those open shots and when I'm not open, keep the offense moving."
Thomas and the rest of the Mercury players wore "BG 42" shirts in pregame warmups to recognized teammate Brittney Griner, who remains detained in Russia after being found with a banned substance at an airport in Moscow.
"We're trying to raise awareness for her causes and trying to being her home."
All WNBA areans including the Footprint center had a "BG42" decal on the court.