For three years, Antoinette Thompson looked up to other players for advice and encouragement. This season, she had to provide those things for other players.
“It was pretty challenging to actually try to be more vocal because I’m not really as vocal,” the senior sports psychology major said. “But ever since, I’ve pretty much started talking to my teammates more, trying to encourage them.”
The four-year basketball starter and Fort Worth native was the only senior for the Lady Frogs during the 2011-12 season. She earned All-Mountain West Honorable Mention accolades this season and scored a career-high of 23 points at Georgia on November 11.
She played in the postseason every year, including in two NCAA tournament games. Thompson also helped TCU claim the 2009-10 regular season Mountain West Conference Championship.
Head coach Jeff Mittie said Thompson made her mark on the defensive end of the floor. She played with consistency and always worked the hardest.
As a young player, Thompson did a great job of doing whatever the team needed, he said. She gained more confidence as she played and grew into a veteran leader.
Thompson said she knew she needed to become a vocal leader as a senior. The experience made her more outspoken and social.
“I find myself encouraging people now, trying to lift them up,” Thompson said. “I focus on myself, individually make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, but I focus more on the team and make sure they’re doing what they need to do.”
Thompson started playing basketball in sixth grade, she said. Her love and passion for the game grew as she went through high school.
In middle school, Thompson thought she would attend TCU. She said she looked at other colleges in high school, but family ties pulled her back to her hometown school.
Janice Thomas, Thompson’s sister-in-law, played for the Horned Frogs and told her about the program, she said. TCU also offered Thompson the chance to play in front of her friends and family.
After graduation, Thompson said she plans to go overseas to improve her game. She will pursue her dream of playing professionally overseas and in the WNBA.
Mittie said the WNBA will be a tough place to get a job but that Thompson had the ability to play overseas to help her reach that goal.
“That has been a great experience for female athletes as basketball players to go experience Europe and to go experience a different country,” he said. “I think she’s excited about that.”
Thompson said she would like to play basketball as long as possible and that she wanted to coach college basketball after she finished her playing career.
She said she preferred college basketball because the players could be more passionate about the sport than high school athletes.
For now, Thompson said her plans were to go overseas to play basketball. However, she said she would always remember the advice she received during her time as a Horned Frog.
“The biggest piece of advice is to push through and you’ll eventually get your break,” Thompson said. “Until then, keep fighting.”