James Thompson IV earned the opportunity to work out with the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards this month after closing out his senior year with Eastern Michigan University this past March. As a former student athlete for the Eagles, Thompson left his mark on the basketball program, ending his career as the all-time leading rebounder in Eastern Michigan history.
As a freshman, he began his career during the 2015-16 season. He was named MAC Freshman of the Year, being just the second EMU athlete to earn the title. Along with freshman of the year, Thompson was also named second team All-MAC. He tallied up 490 points that season, the most ever scored by a freshman at EMU. He also led the MAC in field goal percentage and rebounds.
Following his freshman campaign, Thompson was named second team All-MAC for the second consecutive season as he was dominant on the glass, grabbing the second most rebounds in the league. Thompson’s 11.2 rebounds per game placed him sixth in the nation. He grabbed the third most rebounds in a single season at EMU by pulling down 358 rebounds in the 2016-17 season. Along with that, he recorded 20 double-doubles, third most in the MAC.
For the first time, Thompson was named All-MAC first team in his junior season. He was also placed on the All-MAC defensive team. Adding to EMU history, Thompson became the third athlete to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. He led the MAC in six different categories: double-doubles, rebounds per game, field goal percentage, total blocks and offensive and defensive rebounds. He recorded 20 double-doubles while averaging 11.2 rebounds. He also shot 67.2 percent from the floor.
Thompson was able to finish his career at EMU as the all-time leading rebounder with 1,452 boards. He finished sixth in EMU history with 1,823 points. During his final season, he averaged 11.0 points and led the conference in rebounds with 10.9 per game. Against Ball State, he set a new career-high by pulling down 23 rebounds, the same night he became the all-time leading rebounder.
Thompson, a great player in the Eagles’ recent history, is now an NBA Draft prospect with an impressive career behind him. He was a strong rebounder who excels at scoring on the inside. Thompson has worked out for the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks.
The NBA Draft is on Thursday, June 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.