Ex-standout T.J. Thompson picked No. 1 in CBA draft

When GW alumnus T.J. Thompson went undrafted in the 2005 NBA draft, many thought he would disappear into basketball oblivion in Europe. Instead, Thompson will be playing in the Continental Basketball Association after being selected number one overall in the league’s 2005 draft.

The expansion Albany Patroons took the Maryland native in the Sept. 20 draft. Head coach and former CBA player Michael Ray Richardson characterized Thompson as a “great offensive player,” according to a news release.

GW head coach Karl Hobbs sees the selection as a great opportunity for Thompson.

“I think it’s a great honor and it’s a great opportunity, and it speaks volumes for a guy that came into the program one way,” Hobbs said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “As a result, it’s not the NBA, but for him to be drafted first in the CBA it says a lot about the program. It says more about T.J. Thompson.”

A source close to the team said Thompson chose to enter the CBA over playing in Italy.

“I don’t know that arena,” Hobbs said of the European game. “I would assume that he got some pretty good advice.”

Thompson will be joined on the Patroons by former Saint Joseph’s guard Pat Carroll and Fairfield University star Deng Gai.

Notable names joining Thompson in the draft’s first round were West Virginia’s D’Or Fisher (No. 2), Michigan State’s Alan Anderson (No. 3) and Kentucky’s Chuck Hayes (No. 10).

-Jake Sherman

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