Thompson commits to Waterloo
Daniel Thompson is the type of player coaches dream about.
Not only is the 18-year-old Mississauga native a strong talent, but the 6-foot-7 centre/forward for the Ridley Tigers Prep Boys Basketball Team is also low maintenance, on and off the court.
“He just does his job,” Tigers coach Tarry Upshaw said. “He defends, he rebounds, be boxes out. He’s one of those glue guys you need to win. He’s a really good kid. Just a class kid.”
Upshaw loved coaching Thompson for the last two years.
“When you do the scout, you just put a checkmark beside him because you know that matchup is going to be taken care of,” Upshaw said. “He’s going to read the scout, be ready in film and be ready in practice and bring it to the floor.
“Those guys you love. You never have to worry about him.”
Thompson will ply his trade at the University of Waterloo next year after committing to the school, where he will major in computer programming.
“I’m excited to start life at Waterloo,” Thompson said.
Thompson had garnered interest from the University of Prince Edward Island and a couple of Division 2 schools in the States before settling on Waterloo.
“My mom went to Laurier, which was right beside Waterloo, and she always heard Waterloo was a really great school,” he said. “Their coach saw me play a few games and wanted me to come and when my mom heard about it, she knew it was a great school. I did some research and they had the program I wanted. When I put it all together, I wanted to go there and play basketball.
“It was great how everything worked out. It was just perfect.”
Thompson credited his father, Rohan Thompson, for his strong work habits.
“He’s a cop and he told me to make sure to be punctual and listen to instructions,” he said. “It does help a lot. My dad coached me and he taught me to listen to what people tell you. When a coach tells you something, always give 110 per cent.”
Upshaw feels Thompson will have a bright future at the next level.
“He’s a grinder. I think he’ll have a great career there and it will be a great experience,” Upshaw said. “He’s a really good athlete, works hard, excellent student.
“I think the fact he is lunch pail guy who’s just going to show up every day and grind, I think he’ll be a rotation player for Waterloo. I don’t know if that will happen in the first year, but he’ll definitely be a rotational player in the second, third year.”
Thompson is prepared to bide his time as a rookie.
“It’s going to take a year or two but I’ll have to work for my spot,” he said.
Thompson came to Ridley in Grade 11 from St. Marcellinus Secondary School in Mississauga.
“Last year I played a decent amount but I wasn’t one of the key players on the team,” he said. “This year was really fun. I felt I was one of the key players. Everyone on the team are great and it was just fun playing with everyone.”
He enjoyed his time at Ridley.
“It was my first time away from home. I liked it. The school was really nice. It was a great opportunity for me.”
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