After playing for a season at High Point (North Carolina), Thomas will sit out this season as part of the NCAA transfer rule and be eligible to play with the Panthers in 2019-20.
"I'm very excited to welcome Jiselle Thomas to our program and watch her progress during this upcoming season," FIU head coach Tiara Malcom said. "Although she will not be able to play until next year, Jiselle is a young lady who loves to play the game and will use this time to enhance her skills. Jiselle's skill set, personality and positive attitude will all enhance the program right away."
Thomas is a 5-foot-9 guard that comes to FIU following a one-year stint at High Point. Thomas played in 21 games as a true freshman, averaging 6.6 points per game. Thomas opened her collegiate career with a spectacular performance, pouring in 20 points off the bench against NC Wesleyan in only 18 minutes of action. Overall, the guard finished 2017-18 with seven double-digit scoring efforts with the Panthers.
Prior to High Point, Thomas was the most prolific scorer in the history of Norwalk girls basketball. She scored 2,023 points in 96 appearances to average 21.1 points per game for her prep career.
During her senior season, Thomas was All-Ohio Player of the Year in Division II while averaging 24.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game in the 2016-17 season.
Thomas also helped Norwalk reach new heights as a team, as the Truckers won their first and only district championship in 2016-17 as well. Norwalk had just three winning seasons in 39 seasons (6-15 average) prior to Thomas’ four years, but the Truckers went 63-33 (16-8 average) from 2014-17.
Additionally, Norwalk had not won a district game in 42 seasons prior to 2016-17. Thomas averaged 25.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.2 steals in five tournament games, with wins over two AP poll top 10 teams (Upper Sandusky and Shelby) as team reached regional semifinals for the first time.
Thomas sored 15 points and had 12 rebounds in 29 minutes of 55-50 regional loss to Norton, 48 hours after suffering Grade 2 ankle sprain (partial tearing of ligament) in an overtime district title game win over Bellevue.
Her 2016-17 season earned her not only All-Ohio Player of the Year honors, but Thomas also finished runners-up for the Ohio Ms. Basketball award.
Thomas eclipsed the 35-point mark nine times in her prep career, and scored a school record 46 points in just 22 minutes of action in a game at Tiffin Columbian. For her career, the do-it-all guard totaled 536 rebounds (5.6), 320 assists (3.3) and 304 steals (3.2) in 96 career games.
FIU, which went 8-21 overall last season and 4-10 in Conference USA, was one of Thomas' finalists out of high school prior to her choosing High Point.
Jiselle Thomas and her older brother, Jeff, are the only two All-Ohio first team selections in boys and girls basketball history at Norwalk. Jeff will enter his senior season at Div. I Georgia State this coming season.