Monday, March 10, 2008

Calvin Thompson- There's No "I" in Team

Calvin Thompson is not one of the most well-known player in the nation, partially becasue he is on a team with superstar Greg Monroe. Thompson has made a name for himself, thouugh, and the 6'3 senior guard from Helen Cox (LA) had a solid perfromance in his team's lone game at the Prime Time Shootout, against Whitney Young (IL). Thompson did not fill up the stat sheet, but certainly had a stellar game. After the team's big victory, Calvin took a few minutes to chat with me.

NB: You guys had a big game out there. It look liked in fourth quarter [that] you guys were starting pull away, [then] Whitney Young made a nice comeback, and then you guys were able to come through in the end. How were you guys able to maintain focus as Whitney Young was starting to even up the score?
CT: We’ve been in a lot of tough games this season, and they made us play better and they made us tougher at the end of games. We learn how to come together at the end of games instead of start fussing and go apart. . . . As the season [is] going on, we [are] getting older, we [are] getting stronger, and we [are] getting wiser together, and at the end of the games, I feel like it our game because we know what we [are] doing.

NB: Do you ever feel overshadowed being on this team with Greg Monroe? You guys got a really good team, but Monroe takes up a lot of attention. How does that feel? Is there . . . any jealousy on the team, or is it [a] really cohesive group?
CT: I mean, there’s no jealousy over here. I’ve been playing with Greg all my life. Everybody always says what you just said, “how does it feel to be overshadowed? If you went to any other team you would be an all-star, you could score 30 [points] a game,” but I like to win. I know if I go anywhere else I probably could be an all-star, but that’s not what I’m looking for, I’m not looking for individual stats, I’m looking for the wins, and I want the state championship ring.

NB: Have you made a college decision yet?
CT: Yeah, I’m going to go to Howard University.

NB: What went into that decision [to chose] Howard? What other schools were looking at you?
CT: Kansas, USC, Missouri, I had a lot of schools [looking at me]. Everybody asks me why I picked Howard over the bigger schools. That’s where I felt most comfortable . . . with the coaches, and the coaching staff, and how they talk to me I don’t think they were lying to me about what they were saying.

NB: Is part of that maybe that you want to help start something special there, whereas, a school like USC has something special already?
CT: Exactly, exactly. . . . I like a challenge, and I feel that’s going to be a challenge, and I would like to put them on the map.

NB: Speaking of challenges, what are some of the challenges that you think you’ll need to overcome in your game as a college player to improve?
CT: My pull-up jumper, probably my defensive intensity. . . . If I can get a little more intensive on D, I think I can be special.

NB: How about the rest of this season, it’s your senior year, what do you want to accomplish?
CT: My main goal since I was in ninth grade, just win this championship ring, state championship.

As you can probably tell from the interview, Calvin is a special type of kid. It's not common to hear an athlete openly talking about knowing he can be star, but choosing to pass that opportunity up due to the love of winning. Thompson is the type of high-character player that can help a program buid itself up. Calvin Thompson's future school will do just that, as he will look to help Howard University make a name for itself.

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