OSU men's basketball: Thompson excited for opportunity

2014-06-25T18:19:00Z 2014-06-25T22:24:53Z OSU men's basketball: Thompson excited for opportunityBy JESSE SOWA, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

I talked with Oregon State men's basketball assistant coach Stephen Thompson on Wednesday for my story on OSU's three new assistants.

Here are some snippets from the interview.

On what makes this a good opportunity: "Just to be here and be able to coach under coach (Wayne) Tinkle, to be here and help assist him get this program back to the top of the Pac-12."

Thompson said he and Tinkle have similar beliefs in how the game should be played.

"More importantly, the man and human being that he is," Thompson said. "To work with a man who embodies all these things, it’s a no-brainer."

On the staff that's been compiled: "Exceptional. The experience and the knowledge that coach (Kerry) Rupp has had. This last week, been talking to him and spending a lot of time picking his brain a little bit.

This week has been great for just getting a feel and getting to know those guys."

On Corvallis and OSU being good sells to recruits: "You have everything you need right here ... academic resources, athletic resources, people behind you. To me, it’s an ideal college situation."

Thompson said being a mentor and role model are among his strongest attributes, as well getting players the understand importance of education and getting a degree.

"The knowledge of experience that I’ve had through this game of basketball, giving it back to these young men, is probably my strongest suit," he said.

Thompson played at Syracuse from 1986-90 and was a two-time All-American.

On his successful playing career and how that helps him relate to today's players: "It’s everything. I have a connection with what they’re trying to do, what they’re trying to accomplish. The struggles that they’re going through. I’ve been through all of it."

Sports reporter Jesse Sowa can be reached at 541-758-9565 or jesse.sowa@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSowaGT

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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