BTW Standout Announces College Decision, Chooses to Join Dad’s Former Coach at KU
By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
People had been asking the question for months – where will Bryce Thompson play college basketball?
You can understand why. Thompson is a 6’4″, 175-pound Booker T. Washington standout who impacted the Hornets in their state championship season last year and is expected to help the team repeat the feat this year. He is a five-star recruit who was sought by major Division-I schools. With four – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas and North Carolina – being his final choices.
Thompson made it official before an assembly held at his school, attended by his coaches, family, friends, administrators and students last month. After being interviewed live by a major sports news network, Thompson stepped up to the podium, unzipped his jacket to reveal a blue T-shirt with the Kansas Jayhawk logo.
“It feels good,” Thompson said. “It is a blessing to have all these people in my corner. All the students, they didn’t have to come here. They’re very supportive and I’m a Hornet, so that’s what they do. That’s what we do. It’s been a blessing. I’m very thankful, very humbled by the opportunity to be able to play at the next level and I’m just ready and look forward to it.”
You don’t have to look far into his background to find a major factor in his decision. His father, Rod Thompson, was a University of Tulsa standout in the late 1990s and was a member of the first team coached by Bill Self in 1997-98. Self is now the Jayhawks’ coach.
“They (KU coaches) coached my father at the University of Tulsa,” Thompson said. “They’ve known each other for years and years and have maintained a solid relationship and that’s big. That shows.”
Having a father with a basketball background was big for Thompson while growing up, he said.
“He was always at my workouts, giving me stuff I can work on, just being in my corner making sure I make the right decisions basketball-wise, resting up for one day, or just letting my body heal, it has sure been good,” Thompson said. “I definitely don’t take it for granted. He is a blessing to have.”
The BTW star, who averaged 19.6 points, 5.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game last season, believes what drew Kansas coaches to him was that they saw how he played hard. got others involved and how he can create his own scoring opportunities.
“I can do a lot of things,” Thompson said. “One thing Coach Self liked was my versatility, and that’s something I believe I can come in and contribute with.”
Thompson looks forward to the high level style of Kansas.
“I’m going to be playing with the best of the best,” he said. “They just played Duke on opening night. That’s not something you can get everywhere and I’m looking forward to competing on the biggest stage and playing against the best players.
“Tons of good stuff there. Tons of reasons to go. I’m ready to get over there, I’m ready to play for those amazing people and fans and give them what they want, because at KU, we win and that’s what I want to bring. I want to be winning,” Thompson said.
BTW quick hits
Several other BTW athletes signed to play their respective sports at the collegiate level in November.
Trey Phipps, another key starter for BTW and the son of Hornets’ head coach Conley Phipps, signed with the University of Oklahoma.
Girls basketball players Wyvette Mayberry and Armani Reed have respectively signed with Oral Roberts and Houston Baptist.
Sheridan Ramsey, a gymnast, is headed for OU to join the Sooner women, and Grace Petit of the girls’ soccer team is bound for Missouri.