Here is the official press release about Michael Thompson's commitment to
NEW LENOX, Ill., (Jan. 4, 2001) High school basketball
standout Michael Thompson announced today that he will join the nationÂs No. 1
college basketball program and end the recruiting process early. Thompson, a
17-year-old junior at Providence Catholic High School, has made a verbal
commitment to Duke University following a recent visit to Chicago by Duke Head
Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Assistant Coach Chris Collins. Thompson, a 6Â10",
253 lbs. center, is nationally ranked among the top 20 players in the junior
class by recruiting analysts Dave Telep and Bob Gibbons. His current per game
statistics are 26 pts., 11 rebs., 6 assts., 4 blks.
"I cannot wait to play in front of the Cameron
Crazies," said Thompson. "Coach K said that I will have an opportunity
to play right way. It will be a challenge, but I like my chances," Thompson
said with a smile. ThompsonÂs offer from Duke came three days after Coach
Krzyzewski attended Providence CatholicÂs team practice in late December.
According to Providence Catholic Head Basketball Coach
Eric Long, Duke pursued Thompson for more than a year. "The Duke staff was
particularly impressed with three aspects of MichaelÂs game: (1) athleticism
and ability to run the floor; (2) multiple post moves; and (3) work ethic,"
said Long. "Michael plays like he has something to prove. He gets it done
every night with 3-4 players surrounding him. Because of his talent and desire
to improve, MichaelÂs upside is unlimited."
"The attention was flattering," Thompson said
of the recruiting process, "but I tried to keep it in perspective. I know
that you are only as good as your last game. My family has always told me to go
after what I want, which is why I decided to say yes to Duke. Now IÂm looking
forward to enjoying the time I have left at Providence Catholic until graduation
ThompsonÂs relationship with Duke blossomed after his
unofficial visit in October. "Duke is the best of what college has to offer
top-rated academics, special basketball tradition and family atmosphere,"
said Thompson. "Coach Collins did a great job recruiting me. Spending time
with Coach K and players like Shane Battier, Carlos Boozer and Chris Duhon, let
me know that Duke is where I belong it felt like home. I will wear the Duke
uniform with pride."
Thompson will sign a national letter of intent with
Duke University in November 2001. At Duke, Thompson intends to major in
Economics. Thompson has received a qualifying score on the SAT. Other
universities he considered include Georgetown, Illinois, North Carolina, Notre
Dame and Stanford.