Why Klay Thompson wasn’t taken seriously by Pac-12 schools during HS recruitment
Despite being the son of a former No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson was not originally touted as a major force in basketball as a high school student athlete. While his father, Mychal, won two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, shooting guard Klay had to contend with players with more filled-out frames while in high school, explaining why he was not seriously recruited.
The elder Thompson detailed why Klay, who later played for the Washington State Cougars in the Pac-12, was not high up on scouts’ lists while balling in high school in California, per Warriors Outsiders’ Drew Shiller:
“He was very skinny. He made Reggie Miller look like Karl Malone. That’s how skinny Klay was in high school … so a lot of the Pac-12 schools didn’t really take him seriously.”
Mychal Thompson on Klay's high school recruitment: "He was very skinny. He made Reggie Miller look like Karl Malone. That's how skinny Klay was in high school … so a lot of the Pac-12 schools didn't really take him seriously."
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) March 24, 2020
Thompson, 30, is now a five-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion — outdoing his father by one ‘chip — and since his “skinny” days in high school has turned himself in one of the most lethal perimeter shooters in the league. The Warriors selected Thompson with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft and soon after that paired famously well in the backcourt with two-time MVP point guard Stephen Curry.
After filling out, Thompson helped the Warriors win their first title in 40 years in 2015 and then back-to-back championships over the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017-18 before tearing his ACL in the decisive Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Thompson missed the entire 2019-20 season while Golden State saw their competitive status marred by injuries to their All-Star backcourt along with the departure of two-time Finals MVP forward Kevin Durant in free agency.
Thompson has since had his college jersey retired by the Cougars this past winter.