Thompson Learns From LeBron, Amare

By Josh Herwitt - October 23, 2007

NEW YORK -- Before the crowd of coaches and players dissipated from the building here at Madison Square Garden, I got a chance to talk with Rider senior Jason Thompson, who was named the MAAC's Preseason Player of the Year earlier this afternoon.

Thompson spent the summer working out at the LeBron James, Amare Stoudemaire and Pete Newell camps and returns for his final year in Lawrenceville, N.J. as a potential NBA Draft pick next June.

And in talking with the 6-foot-11 forward, it's seemed to have paid off.

"I learned a lot," Thompson said about his summer. "I learned it doesn't matter what type of school you go to. The MAAC is a mid-major conference, but a lot of NBA scouts will [still] look at you no matter which school you go to. As long as you have the talent, you just have to keep working hard."

Thompson had an impressive junior campaign, one that saw the Mt. Laurel, N.J., native average 20.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 2.1 assists per game. Now he'll look to improve upon those numbers in his final season with the Broncs and open eyes across the country with his ability to play with his back to the basket and face up against opposing defenders, too.

"If you put both [of those abilities] together like I have, then I should do pretty well," Thompson said. "With that experience playing against Amare and LeBron, it gave me a lot of confidence that I didn't have going into those camps."

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 01:10 PM on October 23, 2007

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