(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The First Since Herb Krautblatt

Rider's Jason Thompson, selected 12th overall in the NBA draft and a rarity in the lottery in that he actually received his college degree before the draft, is the first Rider Bronco to play in the NBA since Herb Krautblatt.

Kudos to Jason's family, the folks at Cherokee High School in Marlton, New Jersey, Rider University (including A.D. Don Harnum and head basketball coach Tommy Dempsey) for producing such an outstanding young man.

Yes, there are doubts about the level of competition Thompson faced during his four years at Rider (perhaps the same way there were doubts about a certain Navy player named Robinson during his four years at Annapolis), but the Sacramento Kings are getting a quality kid who averaged a double-double in college and who only seemed to improve as the years went on. Those who doubt the pick will cite Rider and the MAAC and say they've won the debate. Those who tout the pick will cite Thompson's improvement over his four years at Rider, his work ethic, his character and their belief that he'll continue to improve. Geoff Petrie of the Kings is a pretty good judge of talent, so I'll trust his optimism over those who tout others who could have been drafted in that window who have accomplished less and might not be as mature as Thompson.

Let the games begin for Jason Thompson, because that's when these questions will get answered.

But for now, let him, his family and the Rider community take a bow. You all deserve it!


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