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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Senior basketball player looks to utilize her year of eligibility following graduation

Kristy Mace
Jeniah Thompson looks around the court for a teammate to pass the ball to on Dec. 1.

Sports have played an important role in Jeniah Thompson’s college career and throughout her life. 

“My siblings used to play sports when I was younger,” Thompson said. “Sports have always just been big in my family. All my cousins play as well. So I’ve been playing sports since I was like, 3, 4 or 5.”

Thompson, a senior guard on the Wichita State women’s basketball team, is graduating this May with a degree in business management. Thompson has been a student at WSU for two years. 

Before coming to Wichita State, she went to Southern Illinois and John A. Logan College. Thompson came to Wichita State in 2022 to further pursue basketball and her degree.

“I came on a visit out here, and the area felt like how my home felt, and I had a good connection with the coaching staff,” Thompson said. 

Participating in athletics throughout high school and college also helped her discover her love for traveling. As a Shocker, she has been able to travel throughout the country and expand her worldview. 

After moving to Wichita State, basketball allowed Thompson to continue traveling. 

“I was never a big traveler as far as riding on planes and stuff before I got to WSU,” Thompson said. “I feel like that’s really going to be one of the biggest things that I miss as far as being a student-athlete.”

Beyond discovering a love for travel, transferring from a junior college to Wichita State helped Thompson accomplish her athletic goals. 

“The two biggest things that I wanted to do when transferring from JUCO to D1 was work on my shape and my 3-point shot, and I feel like I’ve increased both of those,” Thompson said. 

Thompson said that basketball is about more than just athletic ability; it’s also about willpower, dedication and determination. 

“Basketball is more of a mental game, and then your skills just help you take your mental game to another level,” Thompson said. 

Thompson nabbed 13% of the available rebounds while on the court this year, good for third on the team. She believes this skill comes down to her mind too. 

“To me, rebounding is more of a want to,” Thompson said. “So just really just being determined and having the mindset of, ‘I’m going to get every ball.’”

With a year of eligibility left and her looming graduation, Thompson said she wants to pursue a master’s in business management to give student-athletes like her a future. 

“I want to open my own rec center and host AAU tournaments and things of that nature,” Thompson said.

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About the Contributors
Lydia Steeby, Reporter
Lydia Steeby is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She's lived in Wichita her whole life and loves to be outside. A freshman, she is an undecided major exploring different career paths involving writing. Steeby also enjoys reading, playing the trumpet and making art.
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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