Life in “the bubble”: Central Dauphin grad Alyssa Thomas talks 2020 WNBA season


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — One of the hottest terms in the sports world is “the bubble”; it’s best described as a campus where professional sports leagues are holding their seasons in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

It’s a setup no athlete could have imagined, but is likely what is allowing sports to make a return at the pro level.

Not every athlete is a fan, but former Central Dauphin girl’s hoops standout and current WNBA all-star Alyssa Thomas isn’t complaining about her temporary digs.

“To me, it’s not that bad,” she said over a Zoom call. “I’m actually enjoying the experience, I’m in a hotel, I get fresh towels and my room cleaned.”

Those aren’t the only perks.

“They’re cooking for me, so I’m happy with how it is so far,” she added.

The WNBA campus is at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Teams quarantined upon arrival, but have been back to practice for about a week. Regular season play begins at the end of the month, tipping off a delayed and what will be a shortened 22-game regular season.

Thomas was named an all-star for the second time in three seasons in 2019 and helped lead her Connecticut Sun squad to the WNBA Finals. The Sun pushed the Washington Mystics to a decisive Game 5, but couldn’t hang on in the final minutes.

“We finally got to our goal last year, which was the Finals,” she said. “We were three minutes away from possibly being champs, so definitely a huge step in my career [and] a huge step for Connecticut.”

She will again be a key piece for a new-look squad hoping for another crack at the WNBA’s biggest prize. The accolades have always followed her, picking up all-american honors in high school with the Rams and again at the University of Maryland. It seems natural to see this success from the former top-five pick, but she didn’t always see this coming.

“[I didn’t see it coming] at all,” she said. “I’ve always just played basketball for fun and it’s still fun for me.”

And while she will have her fun, she’s hoping to hoist the trophy she was so close to getting last October.

“I’m really excited, happy to be back playing and I can’t wait for our first game,”

The Sun open their season July 26 against the Minnesota Lynx.

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