The Daily Evergreen

Athlete of the Week: Klay Thompson

Former WSU superstar, NBA stud is next Coug to have his jersey retired

Klay Thompson played for WSU from 2008-2011 and was the 11th pick in the NBA Draft selected by the Golden State Warriors. Thompson’s jersey will soon be retired at WSU.

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Klay Thompson played for WSU from 2008-2011 and was the 11th pick in the NBA Draft selected by the Golden State Warriors. Thompson’s jersey will soon be retired at WSU.

SHAWN P. O'CONNOR, Evergreen columnist

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WSU Athletics announced last week that it will retire WSU alumnus Klay Thompson’s No. 1 jersey.

Klay played three seasons for Tony Bennett at WSU before being selected No. 11 overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has since become one of the NBA’s best shooting guards and is an integral part of the Warriors and their three previous championships.

Klay had an incredible career at WSU.  He played 98 games in three seasons, starting all but two. Thompson averaged 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 34.4 minutes per game in his collegiate career.

Thompson is one of the best shooters in the NBA and his success started in Pullman. As an amateur, Klay hit 42.4 percent of his field goals and 39 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, the shot that made him famous.

Klay’s NBA career got off to a scorching start. As a rookie, Thompson averaged 12.5 points in 24.4 minutes per game. His three-ball started hot, as he hit 41.4 percent his rookie season. He appeared in all 66 games his rookie season, starting in 29.

Since his second NBA season, Klay has started in every game. His career numbers are staggering. Klay averaged 19.5 points, 2.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds in while hitting 41.9 percent of his shots from deep. Klay has never had a season where he hit fewer than 40 percent of his three-point shots. His accolades have earned him five-straight NBA All-Star Game appearances.

Since Klay first came into the league, the Warriors have repeatedly dominated the NBA playoffs. Golden State has appeared in the NBA postseason six straight times, starting Klay’s sophomore year. In 102 playoff appearances, Klay averaged 19 points, 2.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds per playoff game so far in his career.

Klay guided the Warriors to four straight NBA Finals appearances, claiming three rings in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Despite losing in the finals in 2016, Klay led the NBA in playoff points with 582 in 24 games played, an incredible average of 24.3 points per game.

Klay Thompson is perhaps the most successful athlete to ever come out of WSU. In honor of his jersey heading for the rafters, Klay Thompson has earned this week’s Evergreen Alumni Athlete of the Week.

About the Writer
SHAWN P. O'CONNOR, Evergreen reporter

Shawn P. O'Connor is a junior broadcasting major from Oak Harbor, Wash., he worked with his local fire department when he was in high school.

1 Comment

One Response to “Athlete of the Week: Klay Thompson”

  1. Kelsey Bailey on April 9th, 2019 9:32 am

    Klay only played one year for Tong Bennett in 2008-2008 before Bennett moved to Virginia. He then played for Ken Bone.

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Athlete of the Week: Klay Thompson