To be the nation's fifth-ranked AAU team in your bracket, sporting a 24-2 mark so far this spring, you've got to have a floor general.
And for Team Takeover's 15-and-Under squad, led by head coach Douglas Martin, that would be poised-beyond-his-years lead guard Aaron Thompson of Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.).
Today TT continues its tour of the next wave of top local talent, this time dipping into the DC area for one of the DMV's top rising playmaker talents.
Said Takeover 15's assistant coach Mike McCormack of the precocious point:
"I would say he is one of the most composed guards that I have ever seen at his age," McCormack said.
"His ability to manage the floor, to be a literally a floor general….you know, having everyone in their spot, being a leader, attacking the rim….with his composure and his maturity as a point guard, well he can easily play 17-and-Unders."
Growing up in the shadows of College Park, Md., just down the road in Bowie, Thompson had a favorite Terp in his youth.
"My favorite Terp was definitely Greivis Vasquez," Thompson said. "He was always tough. Like he wasn't scared of anybody.
"And for me, it's like whoever I am going against you got to go at him because you never know who's in the stands watching you. You got to go hard."
Thompson's already up to 6-foot-2, 170-pounds, and the lefty playmaker has Maryland, Villanova, North Carolina, Miami, UVA, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Holy Cross and others already in contact.
Thompson attended the Holy Cross-UNC game unofficially this past season, watching his brother, Anthony, who plays for Holy Cross, and touring campus a bit. He said he plans to check out Maryland's next ‘Maryland Madness' in the fall.
Maryland is already active in its recruitment of the heady floor general. He said he also likes UNC because its history of left-handed point guards.
"They [Maryland] are a local program I grew up around," Thompson said. "I mean, I like it a lot. Close to home, they have been recruiting pretty well so far, Coach [Mark] Turgeon and Coach [Dustin] Clark, and how they have been treating me in their recruitment so far. I like it a lot. And I know Melo Trimble, he grew up with my older brother, they were like friends, and I know him from playing against him this year."
Thompson started three games this season at Paul VI, including one in the playoffs, and had a season-high 10 assists in a game.
"Now that I look back on it, I feel like it was a great accomplishment for a freshman to get an opportunity to play like that," Thompson said of his rookie year. "While I was playing in the season I wasn't really noticing it, I was just playing."
On his game and point guard style, he said:
"As far as style, just control the flow of the game," Thompson said. "Like I am in control with what's going on at all times, get my teammates involved, make sure everybody in locked in and I am locked in as well."
Thompson is still growing and said he needs to continue to add more strength, as well as be even more vocal on the court. He wants to perfect "time and score more," as well as his shooting range.
As far as comparison-type descriptions, McCormack likes to avoid them. But he did add that in the years to come some may compare others in local high school ball to Thompson because of the way he leads at such a young age.
Thompson had a breakout game against Boo Williams in the finals of that tournament two weeks ago, while helping guide Takeover to the title at the King James Tournament in Ohio last month.
Thompson attacks the rim, has a nice floater, is working on a more consistent jumper, but gets to the line a lot with his attacking style. But first and foremost is his set-up style and unusual poise for a youngster just coming out on the national stage. He said the "team concept" has carried Takeover 15's well this spring.
"My favorite game was at King James, the semifinal game, and we played at like 8 in the morning," Thompson said. "We were tired and a little rusty and we woke up slow. In the second half I had a talk with my team just try to get them riled up, and we came out the second half and just jumped on them basically."
Up next, Thompson will be competing with Paul VI in local summer league play before the July open period puts Takeover back out on the road again. They also have a team camp at Villanova in mid-June.
In the classroom he carries a 3.25 GPA.
"Without him our record would not be 24-2," McCormack added of Takeover's big spring. "He's another one that will attract a lot of interest in the next couple years."
Paul VI's Thompson Is One To Watch
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