Derrick Thomas is in the right position at the right time with his two daughters at Marian
East Lansing – It’s been a family affair of sorts for the past two seasons at Birmingham Marian.
Assistant coach Derrick Thomas joined coach Mary Cicerone’s staff last season in time to coach his two daughters, Bailey and Samantha. Thomas times three have proved invaluable in helping Marian win the last two Class A titles.
To have the opportunity to watch and coach his daughters has been supremely gratifying for Derrick Thomas. To reach the pinnacle twice is a dream few can imagine.
Bailey Thomas, the team’s junior point guard and Samantha Thomas, a sophomore forward both were in foul trouble in Saturday’s final against DeWitt, but both returned to have a big impact in the second half.
Derrick Thomas said that when he’s coaching he’s looking at his team more as members of the team, but as the game wound down on Saturday, he was obviously proud of his daughters and thrilled to share the experience with them.
“It’s hard sometimes for you to think of them like your kids when they’re out there,” he said. “You work as a team but when you look at them as your kids, you’re just really proud, it’s hard to describe, but I’m just really proud and I’m glad I got to share this with them.
Bailey Thomas, a West Virginia commit spent 14:18 of the first half on the bench after picking up her second foul, scored nine of her 12 points in the second half to help give the Mustangs some much needed breathing room.
Thomas said that being able to run the offense from the point guard position, while her dad is coaching along with her sister playing forward has been fun, knowing that she’s not only playing for her team, but her family as well.
“It’s a family affair,” she said. “I’m the point guard. He’s the coach. She’s down low. It’s just really fun knowing that it’s not only your team, but it’s your family, too.”
Samantha Thomas scored five points in the first half and had 12 in the second to help the Mustangs increase what was a one point halftime lead.
The star sophomore said that having the opportunity to play with her sister and for her father is an experience that she’s obviously enjoyed and said that the three of them are always on the same page.
“It’s been amazing, to have your sister and your dad on the same team,” she said. “You know that when you mess up everyone’s looking at you, but you especially feel it when you’re family is looking at you. But it’s great, because we always know what we’re doing and we just have a flow.”
Bailey Thomas said that she hopes high school won’t be the end of the road for playing with her sister as she’s hoping that Samantha will join her at West Virginia so the two can join forces again in college.
“It’s an incredible learning experience,” said Thomas of playing with family. “We communicate really well because we’re related and I hope that I can continue playing with her.”
Samantha Thomas said that she’s learned plenty from sharing the floor with her sister and playing for her dad, including just how far she can be pushed.
“You learn just how far you can be pushed,” she said. “I feel like I’m going my hardest, but my family knows I can go harder so they push me to go harder.
Thomas said that when he has the chance to look back at this experience in a few years, the most important memory he’ll have is the time he spent with his daughters.
“Just the time being with them,” he said. “Whether it’s at home watching film with them or being at practice cracking jokes, just things like that, the quality time with them.”?