Providence Day multi-sport star Thompson excited about taking her talents to Queens
by Andrew Stark
Having just graduated from Providence Day, Dacia Thompson has afforded herself little time to reflect on what she accomplished while in high school.
When she looks back on her Chargers’ athletic career, there are a lot of good memories to recall. However, taking time to evoke each in its full capacity might take some time to fully comprehend.
“Sometimes people will ask me, ‘What did you do in high school?’” Thompson said. “Then, I can reflect on what I have accomplished.”
There was quite a lot to reflect upon.
On the basketball court Thompson was a key contributor to the Chargers’ three consecutive state championships. On the track and field team, she was an all-conference shot putter and discus thrower three times, breaking the Chargers’ record in those events twice along the way. She also was a member of the volleyball team.
While her past is impressive, Thompson’s future is also bright. She has signed with Queens University of Charlotte and will be a two-sport athlete, competing in basketball and track and field.
“Being a multi-sport athlete has really helped me,” Thompson said. “I am blessed to have the ability to excel in two sports. If one wasn’t going to work out, I knew I had the ability to lean on the others.
“My focus in college will be on basketball because that is going to come first, but I am excited to have the chance to do both.”
On the court, Thompson averaged 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game during her senior season. If she would have played elsewhere, she likely would’ve had better individual statistics. But at Providence Day, she shared time with three other talented post players: rising junior Jatarie White (6 foot 3) and recently graduated Olivia Parker (6-1) and Cailan Howey (5-11). The team was led in scoring by guard Tiffany Mitchell, a South Carolina signee who ranks as one of the tradition-rich program’s greatest players.
But Thompson relished her role and sacrificed playing time and scoring for the betterment of the team.
“I could have maybe gotten more playing time at another school,” Thompson conceded. “But at the end of the day, I put my personal goals aside. If I had to sacrifice minutes or points for any of the other 10 girls, then that is what I was going to do. That was the closest team we have had since I was here, and we all sacrificed for each other.”
Thompson said she learned sacrifice and commitment from her mother, Lorna, whom Thompson calls her inspiration and biggest supporter. Lorna raised Thompson, along with her two sisters and brother, mostly as a single mom. After finding stability, Lorna adopted three more children, and Thompson is able to use her as an example of how to live.
“She is my role model,” Thompson said. “She has come a long way from leaving her home in Jamaica and coming with us to New York with my brother and sisters. There is no better person for me to look up to than her. I see it every day.”
Thompson said she originally had no plans to attend college in Charlotte. Most of the Conference Carolina schools – including Queens, Limestone College and Barton College – had recruited her for both sports. But being in Charlotte with her mother and siblings proved to be the ultimate draw.
“Right now, I only know the basketball players on my team (at Queens),” Thompson said. “I will miss seeing my friends from high school, and although I am sure I will make new friends at college, it will be a tough time. At least I know I have my family close, even though they are on a different side of town.”
Although she’ll put an emphasis on basketball while at Queens, Thompson also is anxious to compete on the track and field team. En route to setting the Chargers’ all-time discus mark, she broke her own record “three or four times” this past spring.
“I love basketball but feel it is different in track,” Thompson said. “You get to showcase your individual talents a lot more. When you are on a team, it is no longer about you. But track allows me to show everybody what I can accomplish on my own and what I can do as an athlete.”
Thompson has proven that she is a top-quality athlete while with the Chargers, but she’s ready to extend her winning ways into college.
“I am ready to get to Queens and win – I am used to that,” she said. “I am excited to go to a different environment and see what I can do in school, basketball and with all of it. It is very exciting.”
As excited as Thompson is to attend Queens, the program also is eager to get her talents on campus.
“I believe she is ready for her next challenge and her best basketball is ahead of her,” Queens College women’s basketball coach Cheryl Nix said in a school press release announcing Thompson’s signing.
“She’s accustomed to winning championships, and I know she has the desire to bring that to our program.”
Thompson has the desire to help Queens to conference titles, but now she can finally look back on what she and her Providence Day teammates were able to accomplish.
“Not many teams are able to win one state championship, and we were able to get three in a row,” Thompson said. “Last year was the closest team we had since I was here, and we knew we were good from the beginning of the year throughout the season.”
As a three-time state basketball champion and the Chargers’ all-time leading discus thrower and shot putter, Thompson does not hesitate to grade her career.
“I would say an A-minus.” she said. “There are times I look back and say, ‘I wish I would have tried harder with that or done better with this or have a better attitude at this time.’ But overall, I feel like I had a good high school experience, at least athletically.”