Aaron Thompson, a three-star point guard, has been playing basketball his whole life. Thompson was only five when he started playing and over the course of his life he has fallen in love with the game.
“[Basketball] means the world to me,” Thompson said. “It’s all that I’ve really done my whole life other than school.”
Growing up, Thompson, a native of Bowie, Maryland, was a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and modeled his playground game after Allen Iverson, but he never thought he was especially talented. Thompson was able to dunk at 13, in the eighth grade but he still could not see any major future in basketball.
It wasn’t until Thompson’s freshman year at Paul VI Catholic High School, in Virginia, that he realized he could forge his future through the game he loved so dearly.
“I always knew I was pretty good but when everybody started talking about scholarships and going to college for free rather than having to pay for it, that’s when it became real for me, like, I have a chance at this,” Thompson said.
This realization of his talent pushed Thompson to work even harder than he had been before, he said.
“It pushed me to be even better,” he said. “There are a lot of other people out there trying to get the same thing I was trying to get so I just want to be ahead of the game.”
Now, a junior, with a year of seasoning as a varsity starter in the WCAC, a top high school basketball conference located in Washington, D.C., Thompson said his game is much more like Mike Conley’s than Iverson’s.
Thompson sees the poise Conley plays within his own game, he said.
“Even under pressure he is able to keep his cool,” Thompson said about Conley. “He is not going to let anybody get under his skin.”
In addition to this poise, Thompson’s strengths include his ability to “get down hill,” run the court and see the floor. To complement these skills, Thompson plans on improving his shooting, he said.
“I think I have pretty much got my mid-range and my three pretty much down, but I think I should start extending my range more for deeper threes,” Thompson said.
In order to achieve these improvements and become a better player, Thompson is continually working on all aspects of his game, motiviated by his love for the game.
“You never know when it is going to be your last time out on the court,” Thompson said. “You never know when the last time you’re going to play is, so every time you have to go and give 100 percent.”
Thompson’s work ethic has paid off, and, as a result, he has received multiple division one offers from schools that range from VCU and Rice to Penn State and Miami (Fl.). Thompson is also receiving interest from major programs such as Maryland and Virginia.
In addition to these schools, two that have stuck out in Thompson’s mind are Southern Methodist University and Temple.
“Aaron McKie has done a great job recruiting me [for Temple],” Thompson said. “We have created a really special relationship like as far as a basketball environment just in my recruitment from him.”
For SMU, Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown made an impression on him, Thompson said.
“I really respect [Coach Brown] as a person and as a basketball coach because I’ve learned that he does stuff for players outside of basketball,”
Thompson also said that he while he has no dream school, he wants the school he attends to make him feel comfortable and be the best fit for him.
For Thompson, the best fit would be a school where he can be an extension of the coach on the court, plays fast pace, lets their point guard showcase their ability and “gets after it on defense,” he said.
“I’m just looking for a place where I can go and fit in like a regular student just like I fit on the basketball team,” Thompson added. “I’m looking for an education and want to be put in a place where I can graduate.”
Looking forward to this season, Thompson’s goals for the team are to win the WCAC as well as repeat as the Alhambra Tournament champions.
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