Deon Thompson’s “Smooth” Transition from US to Europe

California native Deon Thompson made waves during his tenure at Torrance High School as a smooth as silk power forward, with post moves similar to German great Dirk Nowitzki.

Deon Thompson got over the rim for numerous dunks when he played at Torrance High from 2002 to 2005.

Deon Thompson got over the rim for numerous dunks when he played at Torrance High from 2002 to 2005.

Despite being plagued by a foot injury in his senior season, Thompson averaged 21.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 4.6 blocked shots. These numbers, along with his stellar performance on both ends of the court, attracted scouts from the University of North Carolina to take him in for its program. He made the most out of every opportunity during his freshman and sophomore year with the Tar Heels, putting up decent numbers off the bench.

The 6-foot-9 power forward continued to improve his play every year, and played a vital role in his team’s 2008-2009 campaign towards capturing its fifth national title. After capping off his senior season with UNC, Thompson briefly played summer league in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies, but found his true calling playing professionally in Europe, where he had excellent stints in Greece and Slovenia in his first two years overseas.

Eventually, Thompson moved to Germany to play for Alba Berlin in the German League, where he became the team’s main gunner, leading them in points, rebounds, field goals made, and free throws made. This season he was awarded First Team All-League honors for the contributions he provided across the board.

German hoop junkies commend Deon Thompson for the impact he brings on the floor night in and night out. He consistently exhibits ferocity and strength in his game, and gives his Alba Berlin fans something to cheer about — something the cager can use when rolling the dice or hitting blackjack tables.

Coincidentally, while German cagers are known for the ferocity on the court, they are also known to be well-versed in finding means and ways to relax and unwind—like fishing or gaming in casinos—perhaps with their teammates or buddies. See, Deutschland is also home to plenty of establishments like casinos and gaming houses. And for athletes with hectic training schedules, they could easily go to the local casinos and relax for a round of card games. Perhaps they can do so with with their mobile phones while the team is on the bus. A visit to the casino once in a while may also improve team chemistry and rapport. A work hard, play hard mentality does not hurt with the team’s roster of talented individuals.

Alba Berlin may have been swept in the quarterfinals of the German League, but as long as the young Deon Thompson continues developing his game, the team’s claim back to the top of title contention would definitely be within reach. The pride of Torrance High School is still new in international experience, but playing ball in Germany will certainly advance his game a step further. And as he continuously adapts the “European style” basketball, his hoop dream shift from the US to Europe will be as smooth as his killer moves in the paint.

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