BREAKING NEWS: Cougs land hoops prodigy

SURE, THE COUGS beat out Notre Dame and Michigan for the son of a former No. 1 NBA draft pick. And yes, he is well regarded with a 3-star ranking. But the 6-6 basketball prodigy, who nonetheless passed under the serious radar of most Pac-10 recruiters, also looks like one of the most intriguing of Tony Bennett's pickups.

Klay Thompson, a multiple position player and son of Mychal Thompson, has gone crimson. He gave his oral pledge to WSU today, he told Cougfan.com.

What makes him such a compelling "get" is lightning quickness and athleticism, plus that he can play the one, two and three.


PAPA THOMPSON SHOWS AN OLD HUSKY HOW IT'S DONE, CIRCA 1988 (AP Photo).

"They said they like my versatility, my ability to shoot. And they like how I come off screens," said Thompson.

It was Tony Bennett, the chance to play against top level competition in the Pac-10, and the opportunity to be part of a program that Thompson said "is really taking off" that led to him making the call.

"The Pacific Northwest is where I'm from, and just the chance to play in the Pac-10 and with a program on the rise, and with a great coach in coach Bennett, that has me really excited. I wanted to jump on that opportunity," Thompson told CF.C.

Thompson, out of Santa Margarita, Calif., held offers from Notre Dame and Michigan, among others. He took official visits to both schools, as well as mid-week official trip to Pullman this past week.

"Coach Bennett said he was really excited, that he was on Cloud Nine," he said.

There are a number of Northwest connections with Thompson.

His mother, Julie, was a prep star in Ridgefield, 15 minutes from the Washington-Oregon border, before a standout volleyball career at the University of San Francisco, and Klay's uncle and grandparents still live in the area. Dad Mychal, the former Minnesota All-American and No. 1 overall pick by Portland in 1978, played 13 NBA seasons and is now a broadcaster for the L.A. Lakers.

Klay's brother, also named Mychel Thompson, plays for Pepperdine. Trayce Thompson, Klay's younger brother, is a teammate at Santa Margarita.

Thompson completes an '08 class that already includes Michael Harthun, a 6-4 sharpshooter with solid ball handling skills out of Medford, Ore., Nick Witherill, a 6-3 shooter from Scottsdale, Ariz., and 6-8 James Watson out of Oklahoma, a lively shot blocker and glass cleaner who handles the ball very well for his size.

A few years from now, Coug Fans might well be looking back at this class as one that helped cement the Cougar Hoops ascendancy in the Pac-10.

Klay Thompson

NOTABLE NOTE:
According to the Orange County Register, Thompson in 2006-07 averaged 19.7 ppg and shot 55 percent from 3-point range. He pulled down 136 rebounds on the year and blocked 36 shots.

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