TJ Thompson is a 27 year old 177cm point guard from Germantown, Maryland. He is a guard who gets few looks because of his size, but who is in great shape and stronger than you can think. He played at George Washington from 2001-2005. In his senior year, he played 30 games averaging 13.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 42%, 3Pts: 39.2% and led his team to winning the Atlantic 10 championship.
In 2005, he turned professional and was drafted at #1 in the CBA by the Albany Patrons. In 47 games for Albany, he averaged 25.4ppg, 2.8rpg, 5.2apg, 1.8spg, FG: 41.1%, 3PT: 41.7%, FT: 85.9%. In 2006-2007, he played in France for Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket (France-ProA) playing 13 games averaging 12.8ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.8apg, 0.9spg, FGP: 36.4%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 82.6%. In 2007-2008, he continued playing in France for STB Le Havre (France-ProA, starting five): playing 30 games averaging 15.1ppg, 2.4rpg, Assists-4(6.8apg), 1.7spg, 2FGP: 38.6%, 3PT: 28.8%, FT: 79.7%. In 2008-2009, for STB Le Havre (France-ProA, starting five): Eurocup: 8 games: 17.4ppg, 2.1rpg, 4.5apg, 1.9spg; French League: 30 games: Score-3(18.1ppg), 1.9rpg, 5.9apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 28.2%, FT: 82.5%.
This season, he started in Greece for Ilysiakos Athens (Greece-A1): only pre-season, then joined Washington Madness (EBA), and in December 2009 moved to PGE Turow Zgorzelec (Poland-PLK) playing four games averaging 5,8ppg, 5,5apg and 2,5rpg.
He joined EnBW Ludwigsburg in February 2010 and spoke with German Hoops.
Since you have been in Ludwigsburg, the team has been winning a lot. How much of this success can be credited to your game?
Oh I don´t know. You would have to ask coach. I just try to do what the coach asks me too do. I was asked to score in the first two games and since then was asked to set my teammates up. It has been a lot of fun.
Was it very difficult to come in and replace point guard Kyle Bailey?
It was tough and it is never easy to come in the middle of the season. I had to learn to play with the team and them with me. But it has been working out well.
In Europe, you have played in France, Greece and Poland. How do you like Germany?
I love Germany and the passionate fans. The BEKO BBL is similar to France with up and down play and it is very athletic.
There are 8 Americans in the team. How have you been integrated into the team?
I have been integrated well. All the players like each other and they are all good guys. They took the pressure off me, and we have relaxed playing and just have had fun which makes the team work so well.
You are a small point guard at 177cm. How have you gotten used to the style in the BEKO BBL?
I am used to the style. Basketball is basketball and one has to get used to whatever style there is.
What is a strength in your game that nobody knows about?
People underestimate my passing qualities. In the past I was often a scorer. In Ludwigsburg there are so many scorers that I don´t need to score.
What do you still need to improve in your game?
I need to be more vocal and be a better leader.
You come from Germantown, Maryland. What was your childhood like?
I had a nice childhood playing basketball and soccer. I loved seeing games on TV and then going outside and do what they did on TV.
Who were your NBA idols?
Well everyone liked Michael Jordan, but my favourite player was Jalen Rose. My two current favourite players are Stephan Jackson and Steve Nash.
To what NBA player would you compare your game too?
I would compare my game to Mike Bibby. He is a small guard that can shoot and pass. I just try to do what he does.
What basketball game on TV will you never forget?
What is your nicest memory from George Washington University?
Winning the Atlantic 10 championship in 2005. I led the team to the title that had never done before.
Who were the best players that you played against in the NCAA that might be in the NBA now?
TJ Ford, Chris Paul and Jameer Nelson.
As a rookie, you were the number 1 pick in the CBA draft and averaged 25,4ppg and 5,2apg. Didn´t any NBA teams call you?
They called, but were too scared that I was too little for the NBA. I never really got a chance.
You recently played against EWE Baskets guard Jason Gardner. He is 178cm and never got a chance to play in the NBA because of his size. What was it like playing against him?
It was like playing against myself. We have a similar game as he can shoot, score and pass. It was like looking in the mirror.
Who wins a one on one in practice, you or Domonic Jones?
I would win. I have more moves.
What was your most crazy shot?
I hit a game wining half court shot in the CBA.
Who are your NCAA Final Four picks?
Kentucky, Michigan State, West Virginia and Kansas State.
What was the last DVD that you saw?
Armour. I saw it with my wife and it is about robbing a bank.
Thanks TJ for the chat.