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Thomas’ family cheers on Arizona as they prepare for Final Four bout

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SAN ANTONIO (KVOA) - The world-famous San Antonio River Walk is one of the most visited sites in all of the Southwest. However, the University of Arizona players, have not gotten to truly experience it since they are cooped up in their rooms because of the COVID-19 bubble.

But, that does not stop some family members of UArizona players from going that extra mile to communicate with their daughters. 

Senior guard Sam Thomas was spotted waving from her hotel room to her family down below. The Thomas family has made it a daily ritual to wave to Sam, who like the rest of the basketball team, must remain indoors most of the time because of the NCAA bubble.

But, Sam's sister, Bailey says the Thomas family is making the best of it.

"We still feel COVID, but, it's still a great family experience," she said.

Even without being able to physically hug her daughter because of the NCAA COVID-19 covid bubble, Sam's mother, Julie is happy to be able to watch her favorite player and rest of the Cats play in person.

"I just wanted her to make the tournament, to get that experience to make the tournament," she said. "And then the Sweet 16, 'I was like oh great.' And then the Final Eight, and now the Final Four."

"Can you believe this?" Sam's dad, Derek said. "We are actually going to Final Four. You dream and you watch it on TV, and our daughter is going to get that experience. Nobody I know has been able to experience this."

"It's an awesome experience because we grew up playing together," Sam's other sister, Jade said. "So, to see her make it this far it's surreal, and since I"m in college I kind of know how to make it there. So for her to make it so far in the tournament, it's really awesome. "

So awesome, that it is pretty common to see the Thomas family proudly proclaiming "Bear Down, Arizona."

As you can imagine, Sam Thomas comes from an athletic family. Both her siblings have played college basketball. 

Her father has played and coached at the collegiate level. Her mother was a college volleyball player.  

Arizona will tip-off on Friday against No. 1 seed UConn at 6:30 p.m. Arizona time. 

KVOA Sports Director Paul Cicala is in San Antonio and will have multiple stories on the Wildcats in the Final Four on News 4 Tucson and 4, 5, 6 and 10.

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Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala is a 2-time winner of the prestigious”Edward R. Murrow Award” for his reporting/anchoring in news & sports. Paul Cicala has also been nominated for multiple EMMY’s. Cicala has won the “Best Sportscaster” category in Tucson the last five years (voted on by readers of “Tucson Weekly”). Cicala is a native Tucsonan who specialized in border stories during his earlier career as a news reporter in this market, and now concentrates mainly on sports stories (with an occasional special report and/or feature story on life in Tucson & the Sonoran Desert).

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