Thompson inks with PCC

Published 9:12 am Friday, July 8, 2011

AHOSKIE – J.T. Thompson loves the game of basketball.

He also possesses the skills to play the game at a high level.

Next year, he will get the opportunity to do just that when he plays on the basketball team at Pitt Community College. The Hertford County High School graduate signed an offer Thursday morning to join the Bulldogs program.

“I liked the environment at Pitt,” Thompson said. “The facilities are nice and the coaching staff is good.”

Thompson worked his way into the rotation for the HCHS basketball program during his senior season and Pitt started showing interest in the forward at the end of the season.

“Coach (Charles) Simmons got some calls after the basketball season with Pitt showing some interest,” Thompson said. “I went to a work out and we went from there to this point.”

As he looks forward to his career playing at the collegiate level, Thompson said he is excited about the opportunities in front of him.

“I’m looking forward to getting stronger and getting a lot of playing time,” he said.

In his years at Hertford County, the 2011 graduate said he learned the value of practice and work.

“At Hertford County High School, I learned that practice and hard work pays off,” he said.

Thompson began playing basketball at an early age and said he had loved the game since he was old enough to dribble a ball.

And while he is already a good player, Simmons said the best basketball for Thompson will likely come at the college level.

“J.T.’s best basketball is ahead of him,” Simmons said. “He needs to get stronger physically, but he has all the tools that he will need at the next level.

“He’s super athletic and shoots the ball well from behind the three-point arc,” the coach added. “He’s also capable of finishing in the lane.”

Looking back on his career playing for Simmons, Thompson said he was most proud of the team’s Northeastern Coastal Conference regular-season and tournament championships in his senior year.

He looks forward to the opportunity to win even more at the college level, where he hopes to play even after his two-year career at Pitt.

“Hopefully, if all goes well, I will go to a university and continue my career,” he said.

Simmons said he believes Thompson has the tools to do just that.

“I think he’ll do extremely well in the style they play at Pitt,” the coach said. “They like to get up and down the floor and shoot quickly and I think with J.T.’s athleticism, he will fit well into that system.”

Simmons said Thompson would be successful in life, however, regardless of what he does in basketball.

“Academically, J.T. is an excellent student and he will do very well at Pitt in that area,” he said. “He will do very well in college regardless of what happens in basketball because he has all the abilities in that area too.”