Klay Thompson wasn't always a bonafide star for the Golden State Warriors. Like many young athletes with talent, he was once a young man who aspired to reach the pinnacle of his profession. He wanted to become a professional basketball player. Even the opportunity to just speak with NBA players was something that motivated him.
"I was very eager to meet NBA players or any type of professional athlete, because I aspired to be where they were one day," Klay Thompson said. "I wanted to be like them, jump like them. Now to be in that position now it's amazing. I just try to remember that every time I step outside of the gym or step on the court."
Now that Thompson is in the limelight with the Warriors and has seen his star rise as a shooting guard on one of the best teams in the NBA, he now has an opportunity to give back to the community.
Thompson recently did just that. He took the chance to make a positive impact on high school students in the Oakland area, but instead of schooling them on the court, though, he used basketball as a vehicle to teach the kids about life lessons and perspective learned throughout his journey. Some of it was quite relevant to his current situation.
"Two things can happen when you shoot the ball: it's either going to go in or it's not," he said. "You can't let if affect you. You just have to keep shooting, because negative times are going to happen. You have to be grown enough to just push those aside."
Thompson's message doubled as a life and basketball lesson. As the saying goes, "There are two types of people in this world - the doers and the don'ters." You can try and succeed or try and fail, but those who try are always those who come out on top.
In his professional life, Thompson recently struggled to find his footing with the team despite the Warriors' successes. He was rendered ineffective in the Western Conference finals but has found his shot using his own advice of shooting despite struggles. He put a 6-point Finals Game 1 effort aside and has blown up for 52 points in Games 2 and 3 of the series. Now he hopes he can pass that message along.
"Just being able to listen and learn, I think that goes a long way as a kid and even as a professional," he shared. "Just take it day by day. Don't get upset at the first sign of adversity. Don't think about quitting. Just use it as motivation and a learning experience, because you have to learn from the great times and the bad times."