By Jordan Hall
For those who didn’t hear, Ryan Thompson accomplished an impressive feat and took a major stride in reaching a childhood dream. On Sept. 22, Thompson inked a non-guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz prior to the team’s training camp he’s currently participating in.
The Rider graduate still needs to make the team – Utah’s roster holds 17 players during the preseason and only consists of 15 players for the regular season – but this is a significant stepping-stone.
Thompson is playing well and his transition to the NBA level is going smoothly. He’s constantly compared to Wesley Matthews, an undrafted guard last season who made the Jazz and turned into a big-time contributor, playing in all 82 games and averaging 24 minutes per contest.
The former Bronc logged minutes in two of Utah’s three preseason games thus far. Thompson played 22 minutes in his opening act, a game in which he started and shot 0-3 from the field but knocked down both of his free throws, grabbed two rebounds, dished out an assist and had one steal.
Thompson is not only showing off his basketball moves, but his dance skills as well. Rider’s fourth all-time leading scorer took home first place in Utah’s rookie dance off.
Thompson’s next opportunity to display his talent in the preseason will be Thursday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. against the Suns, Saturday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. versus the Clippers and Tuesday, Oct. 19 in a match up with the two-time defending champion Lakers at 10 p.m.
Thompson, a product of Rider, is on the verge of an NBA goal. That’s something special because at a mid-major like Rider, this doesn’t happen very often.