Thompkins Changes Name, Game

Howard Thompkins III now goes by his nickname of Trey since arriving at Oak Hill Academy. That isn't the only thing that's changed since he got to Mouth of Wilson, Va. Thompkins has dropped 15 pounds and has been a double-double machine.

Howard Thompkins III misses being the man. However, he doesn't regret his decision to leave Atlanta for Oak Hill Academy where he's a piece of a program that is regarded as the best in high school basketball. (Va.). ``It takes a load off my back, but at the same time I liked being the guy," Thompkins said. "I like playing with good players, too. I like being able to share the ball and know my teammates can get it done. I like being able to not have to do everything. I like the team concept."

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward has dropped about 15 pounds since he arrived in Mouth of Wilson, Va. He also changed his name – sort of. Thompkins has always been referred to as Trey (since he's Howard Thompkins III) by his family – and now it's stuck with him at Oak Hill.

``He looks really good and is a very skilled big guy," Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said. "He's a face-up four who can put it on the floor, pass it and is a good shooter. He plays a lot harder than he did when he first got here and he's going to continue to get better."

Thompkins came into Thursday night's game averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds. He put up 15 points and 8 boards in a rout against Veritas Christian in Boone, N.C.

``I am rebounding well and hitting open shots," he said. "I'm not forcing anything and just letting the game come to me. I'm starting to play better defensively and I feel like I'm getting stronger." Thompkins said that he'd like to take a couple of more visits – possibly to Texas and Michigan – before he makes a college decision.

His top five are fairly clear right now and Thompkins has already had a chance to visit all five. Florida, Georgia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina and Georgia comprise his current group of leaders.

One school has emerged.

``I've always been a Florida football fan and now the basketball program is in the right place at the right time for me," Thompkins said. "I've always had a love of the Gators, but Coach (Paul) Hewitt is a real down to earth guy and I'd love to play for him."

``At the same time, Coach (Billy) Donovan is also real down to earth and I know both of them would take care of me. There's really not a big difference between the two."

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