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Jason Thompson

Sport: Basketball

Born: July 21, 1986

Town: Mount Laurel

Jason Carlton Thompson was born July 21, 1986 in Mount Laurel. Jason and his younger brother, Ryan, distinguished themselves as two of the best young players in the area. Both imagined themselves as shooting guards, but Jason outgrew that position after he entered Lenape High School. He stretched out from 6’1” to 6’8”, yet retained his quickness and anticipation. This made him an especially effective offensive rebounder. Many of the baskets he scored for Bill Lange’s Lenape High varsity came on put-backs and dunks. He was described by college scouts as a “high-energy” guy.

As a senior, Jason led the Indians to victory over Atlantic City High, Pennsauken High, and Plainfield High to win the state championship. Because he had grown from a guard to a center in high school, the big-time college recruiters urged hinm to do a fifth year at a prep school so he could gain more experience. Instead, Jason committed to Rider University, choosing to stay close to home.

At Rider, Jason played power forward for coach Tommy Dempsey and continued to grow to 6’11” and 250 pounds. He excelled against smaller players, but struggled against power forwards from the better teams in the Big East. Jason attended a camp run by LeBron James and developed the skills and confidence to compete with NBA prospects.

In his final two seasons (2006–07 & 2007–08), he was one of only a handful of college players to average better than 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. As a senior, Jason led the Broncs to 23 victories, a share of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season title, and a spot in the finals of the MAAC Tournament. He was named MAAC Player of the Year.

Jason was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the 12th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He played in all 82 games as a rookie, averaging 11.1 points and 7.4 rebounds. Over the next few years, Jason saw his playing time go up and down, but managed to score around 10 points a game with 6 or 7 rebounds. In 2012–13, he became the Kings’ starting power forward, teaming with center DeMarcus Cousins to give Sacramento an imposing front line. He filled that role for three seasons, and was good for 10 points and 5 rebounds most nights.

The Kings traded Jason to the 76ers in the summer of 2015. Three weeks later, he was dealt to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Jason saw action as a reserve in 28 games before he was waived. The Toronto Raptors picked him up at the tail end of the season and he served as a bench player on the team's run to the Eastern Conference Finals.



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