Prior to the NBA Draft … Randy
Catching Up with Tristan Thompson
NEWARK, N.J. — Former University of Texas forward Tristan Thompson is in New Jersey preparing for tonight’s NBA Draft. A sure-fire first-round pick and possible lottery selection in the upcoming draft, Thompson is hoping to become the sixth lottery pick in the Rick Barnes era at Texas (Chris Mihm, 2000; T.J. Ford, 2003; LaMarcus Aldridge, 2006; Kevin Durant, 2007; D.J. Augustin, 2008).
Thompson played in all 36 games (34 starts) during his one year with the Longhorns and was one of five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award (USBWA National Freshman of the Year). He also earned USBWA Freshman All-America First Team and Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year accolades. Thompson led the Horns in rebounding (7.8 rpg), blocked shots (86), double-doubles (10) and field goal percentage (.546) and ranked second in scoring (13.1 ppg). He reached double figures in scoring in 28 of UT’s 36 contests last year.
Prior to getting dressed and ready for tonight’s NBA Draft (6 p.m. Central, ESPN-TV), Thompson took some time to answer a few questions for Texas fans.
Q: Since you announced back in early May that you were staying in the NBA Draft, what has your schedule been like leading up to the Draft?
A: My first priority was obviously finishing my classes at Texas. After I decided to stay in the draft, I still had several weeks of school to complete. I continued to work out at Texas during the week. On the weekends, I went down to Houston to train with Coach John Lucas. I officially hired my agent, Rich Paul, about one week before the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. At the combine, I only did the measurements and testing and did not participate in the drills. And I also participated in the interviews with teams during those designated times. Following the combine, I went through seven different team workouts with Houston, Phoenix, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Washington, Toronto and Cleveland. In those workouts, I would fly into the city the night before and spend the next day with the front office people, getting to know the coaches and working out for about an hour and a half against other players that those teams were considering at my position.
Q: How did your experience at The University of Texas, both on the court with your workouts and off the court with your team interviews, prepare you to go through this process?
A: I felt very prepared for everything that I went through because of the training I received at Texas. Because of how we’re prepared to deal with the media and what type of questions that either a team or a media member would ask, I never felt uncomfortable in any situation during this process. As far as basketball and skill development, there’s no question that Coach Barnes and his coaching staff got me prepared for what would be asked of me during these workouts.
Q: When did you arrive in New Jersey and what has been your schedule leading up to tonight’s main event?
A: I got in Tuesday night. On Wednesday, I participated in the Draft Media Day with the other players who were invited to the Green Room. In the afternoon, our group went over to the Newark Boys and Girls Club to do an NBA Cares project and NBA Fit clinic. That was great to participate in and give back to the community. Last night, I went out with my family and had a great dinner and relaxed. This morning (Thursday), we got up early and had a meeting with the NBA Players Association followed by lunch with Commissioner Stern. I worked on teaching him the “Hook ‘em Horns” sign, so we’ll how that works out later tonight.
CLICK LINK TO CONTINUE