PATERSON, NJ - Paterson’s Zeniya Thomas has headed west. Continuing both her academic and basketball career the standout player from Passaic County Community College and Eastside High School reported to the University of St. Katherine in San Marcos, California, in July.

As point guard and shooting guard for the PCCC Lady Panthers Thomas helped lead the team to a sixth place ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Women’s Division III, and a trip to the championship tournament during the 2018-2019 season. For her part, Thomas averaged 25.9 points per game and sunk 67.2 percent of her free throws.

Speaking to TAPinto Paterson Thomas said her time at PCCC, starting college close to home, gave her a chance to “experience different choices” as far as her studies were concerned, and eventually earn an associate’s degree in liberal arts. Participating in the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program, Thomas said, afforded her the opportunity to visit 4-year colleges, meet leaders in a variety of professions, and “learn what (she needs) to do to fulfill (her) dreams.”

Sign Up for E-News

Preparing for the next phase of her life Thomas showed excitement, saying that she is looking forward to being in a new environment and culture, and studying hard to earn a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical therapy.

“You have to be from Paterson to know what it really is,” Thomas said when asked what she will tell people about the city she has spent her whole life in, and whether or not it sometimes gets a bad rap. “Paterson is the place I grew up, it made me who I am.”