His first two years on the team, Adam Thompson didn’t take his role seriously. Then something changed.
Now a senior on the Keppel High boys’ basketball team, Thompson’s work ethic and dedication are paying off as a memorable final season.
“I learned to not only how to deal with moments on the court, but off the court,” said Thompson, 17. “I learned that coming to practice on time, it’s like taking a job. And executing. Having a boss telling you what to do and doing it right the first time instead of getting yelled at.”
Thompson said it was just a matter of getting older that helped. That and the tutelage of coach Hung Duong said.
“It’s experience,” said Thompson, who stands at 6-foot-2. “Knowing when to step up. Having a good coach to step up with in pressure moments.”
The Monterey Park resident said Duong getting on him the past two years really helped him mature.
“I got yelled at a lot my sophomore year and junior year,” said Thompson, who added he would like to one day become a police officer. “Instead of just pouting about it I started practicing more, working on my game a lot more to become better and more effective when I got my chance to play.”
And what’s the strongest part of his game?
“I would say my drive, attacking the basket,” said Thompson, whose favorite subject is history. “Just creating for others as much as I can. I just try to as much as I can to help the team win. If I go out there and score zero points and have 12 assists then that’s good enough for me as I just want to go out there and do what I can to help the team win. I’m not really worried about my stats.”
Thompson said he grew up liking football and baseball, adding he wants to have the opportunity to play basketball in college.
“I just love the game,” he said. “I just want to play.”
Duong said Thompson has done a lot over the past few years to improve.
“Adam is matured a lot over the last three years,” Duong said. “He’s grown up. He’s started to figure out the little things he needs to do to be successful, especially getting into his last year and getting close to (Almont League play).”
Duong added that improvement has translated into success on the court.
“It’s been great for the team,” Duong said. “He’s probably been our best player in the preseason in terms of production. So, he has to carry a bigger load when kids are out or injured. He’s playing really well right now.”