The son of Mychal Thompson, the top overall pick of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, as the first foreign-born player (Bahamas) Portland lineup for eight years (though one season was missed due to injury), where he started at both power forward and center positions.
Mychal was named to the 1979 All-Rookie team, and during the 1986 offseason, he was traded to San Antonio, but played only half a season with the Spurs, before he was traded again, this time to Los Angeles, where he was a member of three NBA championship teams. He is currently employed as the Lakers radio color commentator.
Klay's mother, Julie, played volleyball at the University of San Francisco. His older brother, Mychel, played basketball at Pepperdine University. Their younger brother, Trayce, was chosen in the second round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox and is currently playing in their minor league system.
Klay started 96-of-98 games during his career at Washington State. He ranks third in school history with 1,756 points, a 17.92-point scoring average, 1,414 field goal attempts and a free throw percentage of .827. He set the WSU all-time records with 242 3-point attempts on 620 chances.
Thompson went to Santa Margarita Catholic High School, where in his junior season, he was named to the All-Area second-team and Orange County third-team. As a senior, he averaged 21 points per game and led SMCHS to a 30-5 record and a Division III State Championship appearance. During the state championship, he set a state finals record with seven 3-pointers in a game. He was named Division III State Player of the Year, League MVP, first-team Best in the West, and an EA Sports second-team All-American.
As a freshman at Washington State, Thompson started all 33 games and was named to the Pac-10 Conference All-Freshman Team and Collegehoops.net All-Freshman honorable mention squad after leading his team in 3-point field goal percentage (.412) and free throw percentage (.903), and averaging 12.5 points per game (414 points).
Thompson began his sophomore season by leading the Cougars to the Great Alaska Shootout Championship, of which he was named Most Outstanding Player after scoring a tournament single game record of 43 points in the championship game. This was also the third-highest game point total in WSU history. After becoming the third fastest Cougar to reach 1,000 points, Thompson was named to the All-Pac-10 first-team.
He earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors twice during the season and was chosen as a midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award. Thompson finished the season averaging 19.6 points (609), which was second in the conference, making 200 field goals. He shot 80.1 percent from the charity stripe and pulled down 159 rebounds while coming up with 70 assists and 44 steals.
As a junior, Thompson earned All-Pac-10 first team honors after leading the league in scoring with a 21.559-point average, fourth-best in school annals. He became just the third Cougar to win first-team all-district honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches twice in his career. In addition, he became the first Cougar to win Pac-10 Player of the Week three times. His 240 successful field goals rank third on the WSU annual record list, while his 98 three-pointers set a new school mark.
Thompson faced controversy when he was suspended for his final regular season game at WSU after being issued a misdemeanor criminal citation for marijuana possession. The junior not only felt the wrath of his coach, but his biggest supporter, his father, Mychal, said he felt like he "had just got hit in the gut by a Manny Pacquiao left hook" after his son called to inform him he had been arrested in Pullman.
A Pullman police officer stopped Thompson for a reported headlight out and detected the odor of marijuana in the car. Thompson denied having the drug, and after a search warrant was obtained, the vehicle was impounded and 1.95 grams of marijuana was found. WSU issued a statement that Thompson would be suspended for the key game vs. the UCLA Bruins, and quoting coach Ken Bone that "the situation will continue to be evaluated through the weekend."
Thompson's arrest came at a time when the Cougars (19-10) were trying to make a late push for the NCAA Tournament. Not only was Thompson out for Saturday's game, point guard Reggie Moore was also sidelined after he sprained an ankle vs. USC.
"I'm so ticked off at him, I told him he needs to think about getting his degree and finishing up," said the senior Thompson, who added he believes Klay has more than a year of work to graduate. " 'You've got a lot of amends to make.' That's what I think. He's supposed to be the leader of this team, and they depend on him, and he does something stupid like this. I told him, 'Doing something like this shows how irresponsible you are.' "There's no excuse for it."
"I tell them all the time about guys doing it (smoking) in front of me," Mychal Thompson said. "They know a lot about my stories. You can't be naive about it, act like it doesn't happen. You're going to be around people who do it and you just have to tell them, 'I don't need that.' "You've got to be strong and realize it's not worth risking your reputation."
Asked if there had been frustrations with the season that could have contributed to Thompson's marijuana use, Mychal Thompson said, "What's their record, 19-10? I don't care if they're 0-29. There's no reason for doing it."
Thompson was named one of the 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. He returned in time to play in the 2011 Pac-10 tournament, where he tried to make up for his transgression when he set tournament records with 43 points and eight 3- pointers.
Positives: One of the better pure shooters in the game, especially from the perimeter (made 39% of his treys, as you can see he has the distance, and has greatly improved his patience waiting for the defense to commit early) As a freshman, he would get in trouble trying to split the seam vs. double teams, but with an added year under his belt, he showed better court vision and basketball IQ, making good decisions in locating open teammates with his dump-offs and kick-out throws (improved from 62 assists as a freshman to 127 last season) Has the long arms and size you look for in a two-guard, but must work on improving his foot speed to play there at the next level, as his lack of overall quickness and lateral agility makes him sort of a defensive liability facing up to slashers
Most shooters look lost without the ball in their hands, but he plays well without it and will not hesitate to take a charge Has done a nice job of taking the ball off screens and creating his shot Very efficient passer who is unselfish, doing a nice job of playing within the team system Determined with his in-between game, knowing how to use the glass to his advantage Cool under pressure and while he will get in foul trouble trying to recover when his man gets a step on him, he stays low in his stance with hands active to generate the big theft (has 130 steals in 98 games) Has a nice array of moves (pump fakes, head fakes, hesitations) to get his defender to commit too early and even with a man in his face, he has a knack for fielding the ball and getting his shot off quickly, demonstrating proper form when squaring up to the basket to uncork the ball with a high release and fluid stroke Prefers the perimeter for most of his scoring opportunities (43.8% of his field goals came from behind the arc), but has good leaping ability and arm extension to deliver an emphatic dunk Uses his large, soft hands to create opportunities for himself coming off the catch-&-shoot His increased opportunities at the charity stripe as a sophomore was the result of him attacking the basket and showing no fear on the way to drawing contact before delivering with a finger roll or a nifty floater Emerging shooter at the foul line, as he shows good wrist flick and follow-through, making 82.7 of his attempts from the charity stripe Lacks explosive quickness, but is nimble enough to execute a spinning move and even though he still needs to drive in the paint more often, he gets very good elevation to feather the ball into the rim Uses his long arms well to get his shots above the rim Has good hesitation moves that the defender will usually bite and leave his feet Has enough ball handling control skills to put in decent minutes at the point without getting into trouble Has a very quick release and can pull up, set his feet and fire comfortably from mid-range with his jumper Does a good job of shooting from a set position and is limber enough to take a shot off the dribble Likes to have the ball in his hands in clutch situations as he knows he has the jump shot range to fire at the basket at will, but is also smart enough to scan the court first to see if any teammates have better scoring opportunities Loves when a bigger, slower forward comes out to defend him on the perimeter, as he then uses his array of pump fakes and hesitation moves to get his opponent off-balance before taking the uncontested shot over his man Not quick enough to lead the team on the fast break, but he has good hand speed and ability to fire off crisp passes When he gets his body squared, not even face-up defenders can take away his shot.
Negatives: Had a run-in with the law and was charged with marijuana possession that saw him suspended for the season finale, but after the "tongue lashing" he received from his father, former NBA top pick, Mychal Thompson, concerns about him being a character issue has not arisen in league circles What might be a concern is his stamina, as he seems to get off to a hot start every season, only to see his game taper off as the team gets deeper into the schedule Not an elite athlete and even though he has worked hard at improving it, he will never have the foot speed needed to stay in front of his man, making him a bit of a defensive liability His lack of lateral agility has seen him succumb to a quicker opponent when coming off screens, as the defender has no problems recovering and getting ahead of him Does a good job of getting to the rim, but is slow-of-foot when working on the pick-&-roll Has to add more strength, as he will try to compensate on defense by using his reach, but he can be pushed back by physical forwards and will then park himself on the perimeter instead of driving to the basket Lack of foot speed and marginal ball handling skills will prevent him from earning even a few minutes at the two-guard spot in the NBA Does not have that explosive first step needed to take the ball off the dribble and his adequate strength sees him struggle with his shooting game when he encounters the stronger, more physical defenders When he has to get back on defense, he will lose relationship with the shooter and then try to lunge at his man, leading to foul issues (had more than a handful of four- and five-foul games last season) Not the type of player you want in an up-temp attack due to speed issues and is more suited for half court activity Must do a better job of squaring up before shooting, especially when coming off screens, as he will force and rush his shot, leading to a rash of air balls Has a good shooting touch, but is also very predictable, favoring his left hand often (dribble/drive game is below par).
Compares To:RAJA BELL, Utah -- Thompson has continued to develop great confidence in his outside shot, but is not the type that will become too reliant on his perimeter abilities, as he's shown marked improvement on his drives to the rim, drawing contact along the way. When he gets to the foul line, he's an almost automatic, making 82.7% of his chances. He is not an efficient one-on-one defender, as he lacks the quickness and will sometimes get caught up in the action playing in the zone, struggling with making the quick switch-off. His frame is developing to the point where he will not have issues using his inside game at the next level. I see him continuing to be a quality shooter, but some of his defensive liabilities might make him a better option as a scorer who can put up quick points off the bench.
All-American second-team selection by The NBA Draft Report All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice Also named USBWA and NABC All-District and The Sporting News first- team All-Conference Started 32-of-33 games, as he led WSU and the Pac-10 and ranked 11th in the nation in scoring (school record 21.6 points per game and 733 points) and led the team and conference in 3-pointers made (98, 2.9 minutes per game) Led the team in free throw percentage (.838/second Pac-10, as he made 155-of-185), assists (127, 3.7 assists per game/seventh Pac-10), steals (56, 1.6 steals per game/fifth Pac-10) and minutes per game (34.7 minutes per game/third Pac-10) Also ranked in the Pac-10 in blocked shots (eighth/32), 3-point percentage (10th/.398) and rebounding (20th/5.2 rebounds per game) Recorded 16 20-plus point games, including a stretch where he reached the mark in seven-consecutive games.
Started 30 of 31 games for the Cougars Named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team and was selected the USBWA and NABC All-District first-team NetScouts Basketball All-Pac-10 first-team pick, and The Sporting News named him second-team all-conference Led WSU in points (19.6 points per game, 609 total) minutes per game (35.4 minutes per game), steals (44, 1.4 steals per game), and three-pointers made (76, 2.5 minutes per game) Led the Cougars in scoring 21 times In the Pac-10 rankings Thompson finished second in points (19.6 points per game), fourth in minutes played (35.4 minutes per game), fifth in three-point field goals (76, 2.5 minutes per game), eighth in free-throws percentage (.801) and 14th in rebounding (159, 5.1 rpg) Started the season with six-consecutive 20-plus points games, marking the most consecutive 20-plus point performances by a Cougar since Isaac Fontaine matched that mark during the 1996-97 season Became the fifth Cougar to notch six-consecutive 20-point games Became the third-fastest Cougar to reach 1,000 career points with 22 points at Oregon (3/06/10) in his 63rd career game Achieved several top five finishes in the WSU single-season record book including points (fourth-609), scoring average (tied for fifth-19.6 points per game), field goals attempted (second-485), 3-point attempts (fourth-209) and set Cougar single season sophomore records for points, 3-point field goals, three-point field goal attempts and free throws made (133).
Named to the six-man Pacific-10 Conference All-Freshman Team and the Collegehoops.net Freshman All-American honorable mention squad Started all 33 of WSU's games, as he led the Cougars in three-point field goal percentage (.412) and free throw percentage (.903) Ranked second on the team in rebounds (4.2 rpg), assists (1.9 apg), and steals (30, 0.9 steals per game) Ranked third on the team in points (12.5 points per game), and blocks (30, 0.9 bpg) Scored 414 points, making 159-of-378 field goals, 68-of-165 treys and 28-of-31 free throws, as he also collected 138 rebounds, 62 assists, 30 steals and 20 blocked shots Led the team in scoring 11 times, blocks nine times, rebounding and steals eight times and assists three times Had 19 double-figure scoring games including three 20-plus point games.
Thompson started 96-of-98 games at Washington State, ranking third in school history in scoring (1,756) and scoring average (17.918 points per game) Ranks fourth in WSU annals with 599 field goals made and third with 1,414 field goal attempts Set the school all-time records with 242 three-point field goals made (took the crown from Eddie Hill, who played at WSU from 1991-94 and made 233) and 620 three-point attempts His 3-point field goal percentage of .399 placed seventh in school history His free throw percentage of .827 rank third on the school career-record chart Placed 14th in school history by blocking 74 shots Set the school season-record with 733 points scored in 2010-11 (passed Isaac Fontaine, who set the record in 1997 with 657 points), as his 609 points scored as a junior rank fourth on the annual list His 733 points are the most by a Pac-10 Conference player since Arizona State's Eddie House scored 736 during the 1999-00 season Only player in school history to score over 600 points twice in a career Also set a school scoring record with a 21.559-point average as a senior, while his junior average of 19.645 points rank fourth His 240 field goals made in 2010-11 are third-most on the WSU season-record list, as his 98 treys set the Cougars annual record.
Earned three letters under head coach Jerry Debusk at Santa Margarita (Ladera Ranch, Cal.) Catholic High School Earned All-Area second-team honors as a junior after leading SMCHS to a second-place finish in its division and a second round appearance in the CIF Southern Section Tournament, as he added first-team All-Trinity League and third-team All-Orange County accolades Was named to the Orange County Preseason first-team as a senior after leading his team to the Division III State Championship as the squad finished the season with a 30-5 record Received first-team All-State and Division III State Player of the Year honors, in addition to being named the Trinity League MVP, first-team Best in the West, EA Sports second-team All-American and Hoop Scoop All-American.
General Studies major Son of Julie and Mychal Thompson His father was the top over-all pick of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, and was the first foreign-born player (Bahamas) to be selected at that position. He was a fixture in the Portland lineup for eight years (though one season was missed due to injury), where he started at both power forward and center positions. Mychal was named to the 1979 All-Rookie team, and during the 1986 off-season, he was traded to San Antonio, but played only half a season with the Spurs, before he was traded again, this time to Los Angeles, where he was a member of three NBA championship teams. He is currently employed as the Lakers radio color commentator Mother, Julie, played volleyball at the University of San Francisco His older brother, Mychel, played basketball at Pepperdine University Younger brother, Trayce, was chosen in the second round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox and is currently playing in their minor league system Born Klay Alexander Thompson on 2/08/90 in Los Angeles, California Resides in Ladera Ranch, California.
|Career Shooting Stats|