Getting things going with our 2015 NBA Draft coverage, we stayed in Columbus and went to check out one of Ohio State’s very own. Training at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas yet finishing his degree at OSU, we were able to watch Thompson go through an early morning workout with Ohio State assistant coach Jake Diebler. Here’s a look at the workout, along with the full interview that we
CityLeagueHoops: What do you think you’re going to surprise teams with the most during the workout process?
Sam Thompson: I think I’m a better offensive player than people give me credit for. I’m a better creator, I was second on the team in points this season, and I can shoot the ball a lot better than I did at the end of the season. I think that I’ve made some big strides offensively and I’m excited to show it off.
CityLeagueHoops: What are the things that you’re looking to focus on the most throughout the pre-draft process working out with Coach Diebler and out in Vegas at Impact?
ST: Tuning up my jumshot. At times I have a habit of swinging it to the left side of my body, but I need to keep it tight and real compact. The other thing is my handle. I know at the next level I have to be able to put it on the floor to create for myself and my teammates. Those are really the two biggest things.
CityLeagueHoops: You played for two prestigious programs before you reached Ohio State in Whitney Young and the Mac Irvin Fire. How do you think that helped prepare you for Ohio State and beyond?
ST: Like you said, at Whitney Young and at Ohio State, I’ve been on the big stage. I’ve been on the big state for eight years now. I’ve won awards, been to state championship games, won conference championship games, and won the Big Ten championship. I”m well composed, I’ve been there before, and I’ll never be shook in a big game. I know what it takes to win at a high level.
CityLeagueHoops: You’re a guy whose stock was solid enough to bypass Portsmouth and you’re obviously quite confident in your abilities. Why is Sam Thompson an NBA player?
ST: Right this second, I”m an NBA caliber defender. I’m long, athletic, and I can really give some guys problems on the defensive end. I’m a better offensive player than people give me credit for and I’m excited to show that, but tomorrow I can come in and help a team on the defensive end. My work ethic will take care of the rest.