Interview with Ronald Thompson (28.11.2005)
Hi Ronald, sorry to have kept you waiting, but at least we won’t trouble you with the same basic questions Christen had to put up with.
No problem, Christen will have given more or less all my answers.
Is there anything you want to add to her quick run-down?
The system is basically the same all over the U.S.; my first experience was with Church League basketball, nothing to do with church really, more of a sporting scheme on a volunteer work basis. The teams are run and organized by local people, to introduce kids to sports, but also to keep them off the streets. The activities take place in Community Sports Centers on a purely non-commercial basis.
Where and when did you start your basketball playing?
The advantage of our Church League system is that they do not limit you to one sport only. I did not actually start with basketball – there is a basketball tradition in my family, with cousins playing the game and all that – my sports were baseball, American football and basketball.
And what made you choose the one rather than the other ?
Simple, I grew too tall for the other two. From Junior High onto High School it was basketball only for me.
When did you have your first contacts with the professional circuit?
Like Christen told you, I went to one of these invitation summer camps in New Jersey, I was a senior by then. It didn’t work out in the first year, but the system allows you to continue your studies, so you don’t lose out, really.
…. and after that sabbatical?
Yes, the contacts came to a conclusion, with a scholarship for my sporting and academic progress.
Does that scholarship allow you devote all your time to sports?
Well, no ! Your academic progress is monitored all the time, you may not allow your grades to drop, the scholarship is renewed on a yearly basis.
Where do managers come into it?
You have a manager as from your end of college and go on to your university studies, anything up to five years.
Did you have serious offers or try-outs at that time?
I had try-outs with the Hawks and then opted for a career abroad. You will have seen my record on your homepage already.
Does the club policy of T71 suit you?
Yes, it’s a change from my previous teams, obviously – similar to what Christen explained – but I quite like playing with younger players, gives me a different role to play. Carsten’s policy of integrating all players suits me fine, makes the team look good.
Is coaching something you envisage for your future career ?
Definitely, and there is a possible career in real-estate or management for me.
What are your plans for the Xmas break?
I intend taking a trip back home to see my people, no visiting Europe for me. Christen thinks I spend all my time at the gym, she’s right, I’m not the visiting type.
Thanks Ronald, Carsten must now be waiting for you to join today’s practice.