Thompson Adjusts To Role At Whitney Young

The 2011 class in Illinois is loaded. Wayne Blackshear, Mike Shaw, Tracy Abrams and Chasson Randle are all popular names. Sam Thompson is also one of the best in the state and caught up with him at the Loop Capital Shootout this past weekend.

Sam Thompson, of Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young, doesn't always get the chance to display his full array of skills.

Playing alongside upperclassmen like Chris Colvin, Ahmad Starks, Anthony Johnson and Marcus Jordan, there's not always a lot of time and shots for the 6-foot-6, 175-pound wing.

"It's not tough and I'm getting used to it, but it's different," Thompson told "I'm the sophomore of the bunch. We have great players. We have players that are going to be All-State and players that are going to play high major D-I."

"It's just a learning experience for me," he continued. "I'm trying to learn as much as I can and contribute as much as I can."

Although Thompson isn't putting up huge numbers, he's still making plays for his team. Take Sunday's game against Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent St. Mary's at the Loop Capital Shootout for example.

Despite finishing with just a handful of points, he found other ways to contribute. Not only did he grab rebounds, block shots and hit a huge tip to help force overtime, but he was also a vocal leader for the Dolphins.

"I think I played well on the defensive end," Thompson said. "I was just trying to do anything I could to help my team win. [Sunday] my role wasn't to score the ball. We have a lot of great guards, so that's not going to be my role most of the time."

Coaches from Purdue, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Indiana were at St. Xavier University to see Whitney Young's game. And there are plenty of other interested parties. Illinois and Oregon State have already offered, with schools like Texas, USC, Kentucky and others showing interest.

"[Recruiting has] calmed down a lot during school," he said. "During the summer time it was fun. There were a lot of college coaches out there and we had a bunch of other great players on the team like Wayne Blackshear, so there was a lot of coaches and scouts there."

Oregon State is among the schools showing the most interest in Thompson and they have a connection with the 2011 wing. According to Thompson, Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson is a family friend.

"In June I went with Ahmad Starks down to Oregon State," Thompson said. "That's the only place I've really been. It was a fun trip. I've known Craig Robinson for a long time and it was real relaxing out there."

Thompson and Whitney Young will return to action Wednesday evening against Chicago (Ill.) Farragut before heading to Honolulu (Hawaii) for the Iolani Prep Classic.

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