KaRa Thompson signed her official letter of intent to play for Columbia International University on Jan. 16 in Columbia, S.C., but her real celebration with teammates, family and friends took place at a signing ceremony Wednesday at Greenbrier High School.
There were a few things that attracted her to the Columbia International, which will field its first basketball team in the 2013-2014 season as part of the National Christian College Association.
“It’s history, I love that,” said Thompson, who is the team’s first official player. “That was one of my main goals – make history – and I get to do that at CIU and be part of something that’s new to me and new to them.
I love my coach, Coach (Tammy) Holder,” Thompson said. “She’s a wonderful lady and I’ve gotten to know her. She’s somebody that I know I will learn how to a be woman from and how to be a good basketball player.”
Holder, who is the first Lady Rams basketball coach, sent an email blast to high school coaches after getting the job and came to check out Thompson after hearing from Greenbrier head coach Stefanie Basinger. She liked what she saw of Thompson and of Greenbrier.
“It’s an easy drive down here and I immediately fell in love with the family of this basketball program,” Holder said.
And Thompson likes what Holder and the school represents.
“It’s a Christian school, it’s a Bible school, so we want to have good ladies representing our team while competing,” said Thompson. “Coach Holder’s going to be a competitor, but we always know what we’re competing for, and that’s for God. I love that.”
Basinger, who was Thompson’s first coach at Riverside Middle School, was happy for her team captain.
“She’s quite a leader and an inspiration,” Basinger said. “She has an amazing work ethic and when she sets her mind to something she goes after it. This is a result of that.”