Armstrong’s Race Thompson has been widely viewed as one of the best prospects Minnesota has to offer for the senior class of 2018.
Thompson averaged 19.6 points-per-game in 2016-17 and added an additional 8.9 rebounds-per-game. After completing his junior season, as well as his AAU basketball season with D-I Minnesota, Thompson ended his recruitment by announcing his collegiate commitment July 15.
Thompson announced via Twitter July 16 that he will be joining Indiana University.
“It’s nice, I feel very relieved,” Thompson said. “The decision wasn’t really that hard for me, what it came down to, when I was pretty sure I was going to commit was I talked to my parents about it and I was just ready.
“It wasn’t really tough for me at all.”
Thompson said he has known where he has been heading for a while, as the decision was made easier once he met the Indiana coaching staff.
“The coaching staff and the relationship I have built with them over the last couple of months,” Thompson said. “I felt comfortable there, I felt I could live the next couple years of my life there and that those coaches could take my game to the next level.”
Perhaps more shocking than his college choice was the fact that Thompson chose to forgo his senior year of high school to reclassify to a class of 2017 prospect and join Indiana in the fall.
“After my last year of high school I talked to some people about my grades and they told me I only needed a couple more classes to graduate,” Thompson said. “For the past year and a half I haven’t been that healthy because my knees have been messed up.
“I figured if I went to college I could redshirt, get healthy and be ready to go for my freshman year of college, even though I will be missing out on some fun things my senior year of high school. In the long run for my career, I feel this is the best thing for me.”
Despite leaving high school early, Thompson said he will always look back fondly on his Armstrong career.
“It was tough, I felt bad because of all the work [Coach Miller} put in for the offenses and stuff,” Thompson said. “The plays, a lot of the plays were built around me, so I felt bad about that, but, at the end of the day, he told me not to feel bad, he knows it’s the best for me and that’s what it is about.
“I pretty much grew up being a Falcon, Coach Miller was my coach for eight years straight. It was a great experience, I was happy and I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else.”
As he works to take the court for Indiana for the 2018-19 season, Thompson has very specific goals he hopes to accomplish during his college career.
“I just want to be positionless,” Thompson said. “I want to be able to play [small forward], maybe even [shooting guard] and [power forward].
“I just want to be able to play those positions without any problems, so getting my body strong enough to guard a 4 and being quick enough to guard a 3 and being able to handle the ball and shoot the ball at a consistent rate.”
Follow Sun Post sports editor Chris Chesky on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris and on Facebook at SunSportsStaff.