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Encyclopedia > David Thompson (basketball)
David Thompson
Position Guard-Forward
Nickname "Skywalker"
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg)
Nationality USA
Born July 13, 1954 (1954-07-13) (age 53)
Flag of North Carolina Shelby, North Carolina
College North Carolina State
Draft 1st overall, 1975
Atlanta Hawks
Pro career 1975–1984
Former teams Denver Nuggets (1976–1982)
Seattle SuperSonics (1983–1984)
Awards 1975 USBWA College Player of the Year

David O'Neil Thompson (born July 13, 1954 in Shelby, North Carolina) is a former American professional basketball star with the Denver Nuggets of both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and American Basketball Association (ABA), as well as the Seattle SuperSonics. is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_North_Carolina. ... Shelby is a city in Cleveland County, North Carolina, United States. ... North Carolina State University is a public, coeducational, extensive research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. ... 1975 NBA Draft See also: NBA Draft Round One Categories: | ... The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. ... For the original defunct Denver Nuggets, see Denver Nuggets (original). ... The Seattle SuperSonics (or simply Sonics) are an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. ... USBWA College Player of the Year was started in 1959. ... is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Shelby is a city in Cleveland County, North Carolina, United States. ... This article is about the sport. ... For the original defunct Denver Nuggets, see Denver Nuggets (original). ... NBA redirects here. ... For the league that began in 1999, see American Basketball Association (2000-). The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional basketball league founded in 1967, and eventually merged, in part, with the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... The Seattle SuperSonics (or simply Sonics) are an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. ...

Contents

College career

After leading North Carolina State University to an undefeated season (27-0) in 1973 (in which they were not eligible for the post-season), he led them to an NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1974, including vanquishing the reigning national champions, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). His nickname was "Skywalker" because of his incredible purported 48-inch vertical leap.[citation needed] The alley-oop pass, now a staple of today's high-flying, above-the-rim game was "invented" by Thompson and his NC State teammate Monte Towe, and first used as an integral part of the offense by NC State coach Norm Sloan to take advantage of Thompson's leaping ability. North Carolina State University is a public, coeducational, extensive research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... // Final four redirects here. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... The University of California, Los Angeles, popularly known as UCLA, is a public, coeducational university situated in the neighborhood of Westwood within the city of Los Angeles. ... In the Star Wars fictional universe, the Skywalker family is the family started by Shmi Skywalker on Tatooine. ... Monte Corwin Towe (born September 27, 1953, Marion, Indiana) is an American basketball coach and former player. ... Norm Sloan (June 25, 1926 - December 9, 2003) was an American college basketball coach. ...


NC State's game against the nationally 4th-ranked University of Maryland in the 1974 ACC Tournament finale, in an era in which only conference champions were invited to the NCAA Tournament, is considered one of the best, if not the greatest, college basketball games of all time. Thompson and teammate Tom Burleson led the #1-ranked Wolfpack to a 103-100 overtime win. Thompson and the Wolfpack would go on to win the National Championship that year while Maryland sat at home. Maryland's exclusion from the NCAA Tournament due to the loss despite their high national ranking would lead to the expansion of the NCAA Tournament the very next season to include teams other than the league champions. The University of Maryland, College Park (also known as UM, UMD, or UMCP) is a public university located in the city of College Park, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., in the United States. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... // Final four redirects here. ...


In a league that included such talents as Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Christian Laettner, and Len Bias, Thompson is widely considered the greatest player in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. For other persons named Michael Jordan, see Michael Jordan (disambiguation). ... Image:Ralph Sampson. ... Timothy Tim Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976 in Christiansted, St. ... Christian Donald Laettner (born August 17, 1969 in Angola, New York) is an American former professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the NBA on six different teams. ... Leonard Kevin Bias (November 18, 1963 – June 19, 1986) was an American college basketball player who suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia that resulted from a cocaine overdose less than 48 hours after being selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Draft. ... The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is one of the oldest collegiate athletic leagues in the United States. ...


Thompson played basketball in a time in which the slam dunk was outlawed via the "Lew Alcindor" rule. In 1975, against University of North Carolina at Charlotte playing his final nonconference game at N.C. State, early in the second half Thompson drove the length of the court for his first and only dunk of his collegiate career, a goal that was promptly disallowed by technical foul. Head coach Norm Sloan removed Thompson, to thunderous applause. The ACC's most exciting player, who had performed for three years without ever performing the game's most exciting act, thus passed into history. This article is about the term, slam dunk. For other uses, see Slam dunk (disambiguation). ... Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born April 16, 1947 in New York City, New York) was a successful high school, collegiate, and professional basketball player. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In basketball, a technical foul is an infraction of the rules usually concerning unsportsmanlike non-contact behavior. ... Norm Sloan (June 25, 1926 - December 9, 2003) was an American college basketball coach. ...


Michael Jordan who later grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina said that Thompson was his basketball role model, as a young man. At some of the basketball camps that Thompson ran, Jordan would often tell the campers, "He was the guy I looked up to when I was your age." For other persons named Michael Jordan, see Michael Jordan (disambiguation). ... Wilmington is a city in New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. ...


Thompson's 33 remains the only number NC State ever retired in Men's Basketball (although others have been "honored").


Professional career

Thompson was the No. 1 draft pick of both the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association in the 1975 drafts of both leagues. He eventually signed with the ABA's Denver Nuggets. Explaining his choice between the establishment NBA and the ABA -- which offered less real money (but more "deferred" over the life of the contract) -- Thompson said when he met with the Hawks, the organization had seemed almost uninterested, to the point of treating him to a meal at McDonald's. For the league that began in 1999, see American Basketball Association (2000-). The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional basketball league founded in 1967, and eventually merged, in part, with the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... NBA redirects here. ... For the original defunct Denver Nuggets, see Denver Nuggets (original). ... McDonalds Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the worlds largest chain of fast-food restaurants, primarily selling hamburgers, chicken, french fries, milkshakes and soft drinks. ...


Thompson and Julius Erving were the finalists in the first ever Slam-Dunk Competition, held at the ABA All-Star Game at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver in 1976. The competition organizers had arranged the seedings to assure a final round pairing these two dynamic players. Erving won with the first ever foul-line dunk, to this day the standard for leaping and dunking prowess. Thompson, inexplicably, performed even more difficult dunks in warmups, but not in the competition itself -- including a dunk whereby he cradled the ball in the crook of his arm, raised it above the rim, and punched it through. (See Loose Balls by Terry Pluto) Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950 in Roosevelt, New York), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a former American basketball player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. ... The Slam Dunk Contest is an annual NBA competition held during the week of the NBA All-Star Game. ... Terry Pluto is an award-winning Akron, Ohio sportswriter who primarily writes columns for the Akron Beacon Journal about Cleveland sports and religion. ...


Thompson made the NBA All-Star Game four seasons, and reached his peak in 1978 season. On April 9, 1978, the last day of the regular NBA season, Thompson scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons in an effort to win the NBA scoring title (he barely lost the scoring title to San Antonio's George Gervin, who scored 63 points in a game played later that same day). He also led the Denver Nuggets to the NBA playoffs, but they lost to the eventual Western Conference champion Seattle Supersonics. The National Basketball Association staged its first All-Star Game in the Boston Garden on March 2, 1951. ... The Detroit Pistons are a team in the National Basketball Association based in the Detroit metropolitan area. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... George Gervin (born April 27, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former professional basketball player, a shooting guard for the American Basketball Associations (ABA) Virginia Squires and San Antonio Spurs and the National Basketball Associations (NBA) San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. ... The Seattle SuperSonics (or simply Sonics) are an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. ...


After the 1978 season, Thompson signed a record-breaking contract for $4 million over five-years. That amount was more than any basketball player ever had previously been paid. However, from that point, injuries and persistent problems with substance abuse would trouble Thompson and to the significant detriment of the remainder of his NBA career, which came to an end after the 1983-84 season. He severely injured his knee getting "flanged" down the steps of the notorious Studio 54, epicenter of the New York party scene and antithesis of his humble beginnings. He did attempt a comeback in 1985, but it was unsuccessful. Also see Alcoholism and Drug addiction. ... The 1983-84 NBA Season was the 38th season of the National Basketball Association. ... The original Studio 54 logo. ...


Life after the NBA

Following his NBA career, Thompson continued to struggle with drugs and alcohol, his life declining to the point where he found himself jailed for a brief period of time. With encouragement from a pastor who visited the jail, he became a committed Christian and put his life back in order. Thompson now devotes his time to working with young basketball players, helping them to aspire to his achievements and avoid his mistakes. His autobiography, Skywalker, charts the highs and lows of his eventful life. For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ...


Thompson was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player on May 6, 1996. Basketball Hall of Fame Logo The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors players who have shown exceptional skill at basketball, all-time great coaches and referees, and other major contributors to the game. ... is the 126th day of the year (127th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ...


Thompson eventually returned to school at North Carolina State, and in 2003 he finished his degree in sociology, for which he had been only 7 credits shy when he left to play professional basketball in 1975. He completed his studies during the first summer session of 2003, thus finishing before his daughter, Erika, who completed her coursework in arts applications in the second summer session of 2003. Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge [1]) is the systematic and scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social action, and culture[2]. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous...


Professional statistics

Thompson's first professional year (1975-1976) was spent in the ABA. The rest of his career he played in the NBA as the ABA and NBA had merged in 1976.

Season Points/G Rebounds/G Assists/G Steals/G Blocks/G FG %
1975-76 26.0 6.3 3.7 1.6 1.2 .515
1976-77 25.9 4.1 4.1 1.4 0.6 .507
1977-78 27.2 4.9 4.5 1.2 1.2 .521
1978-79 24.0 3.6 3.0 0.9 1.1 .512
1979-80 21.5 4.5 3.2 1.0 1.0 .468
1980-81 25.5 3.7 3.0 0.7 0.8 .506
1981-82 14.9 2.4 1.9 0.6 0.5 .486
1982-83 15.9 3.6 3.0 0.6 0.4 .481
1983-84 12.6 2.3 0.7 0.5 0.7 .539

College highlights

For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... USBWA College Player of the Year was started in 1959. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... The Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency, the worlds largest such organization. ... Front of UPI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. “UPI” redirects here. ... Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) is an American multinational public company which produces photographic materials and equipment. ... The Sporting News (TSN) is an American-based sports newspaper. ... The Naismith College Player of the Year award, named for basketball inventor James Naismith, is given annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to college basketballs top male and female player. ... The Adolph F. Rupp Trophy is an award given annually to the top player in mens Division I NCAA basketball. ... The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the University of Kansas basketball coach. ... The United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) was founded in 1956 by Walter Byers and serves the interests of jounalists who cover college basketball. ... The James E. Sullivan Award is awarded annually by the Amateur Athletic Union to the top amateur athlete in the United States. ... The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is one of the oldest collegiate athletic leagues in the United States. ... Marquette University is a private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman Catholic university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States of America. ... Binomial name Ucla xenogrammus Holleman, 1993 The largemouth triplefin, Ucla xenogrammus, is a fish of the family Tripterygiidae and only member of the genus Ucla, found in the Pacific Ocean from Viet Nam, the Philippines, Palau and the Caroline Islands to Papua New Guinea, Australia (including Christmas Island), and the... The Universiade is an international multi-sport event, organized for university athletes, by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). ... The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame was established in February 1963, with the support of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, to honor those persons who by excellence of their activities in or connected with the world of sports have brought recognition and esteem to themselves and to the State... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ...

ABA/NBA highlights

  • The Sporting News ABA Rookie of the Year (1976)
  • ABA Rookie of the Year (1976)
  • All-ABA (1976)
  • MVP, ABA All-Star Game (1976)
  • Competed in first ever slam dunk contest during half time of the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, eventually taking second to Julius Erving
  • All-NBA First Team (1977, 1978)
  • Four-time NBA All-Star
  • MVP, NBA All-Star Game (1979)
  • Only player in history named MVP of both the ABA and NBA All-Star Games
  • Scored a career-high 73 points against Detroit (April 9, 1978)
  • Scored a then-NBA record 32 points in the second quarter against Detroit Pistons, a record that was broken by George Gervin (33 against New Orleans Jazz on the same day ) when Gervin won the 1978 scoring title with a 63-point output
  • The Nuggets retired his jersey number 33 (Nov. 2, 1992)
  • Colorado Professional Athlete of the Year (1977)
  • Scored 2,158 points (26.0 ppg) in the ABA
  • Scored 11,264 points (22.1 ppg) in the NBA
  • Atlanta's first pick in the 1975 NBA draft
  • Virginia's first pick in the 1975 ABA draft

The Sporting News (TSN) is an American-based sports newspaper, currently affiliated with the Fox network. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... The Detroit Pistons are a team in the National Basketball Association based in the Detroit metropolitan area. ... George Gervin (born April 27, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former professional basketball player, a shooting guard for the American Basketball Associations (ABA) Virginia Squires and San Antonio Spurs and the National Basketball Associations (NBA) San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. ... Dixieland music is a style of jazz. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Largest metro area Denver-Aurora Metro Area Area  Ranked 8th  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ...

See also

List of National Basketball Association players who have scored 60 or more points in a single game. ...

External Links

Preceded by
Barry Parkhill
ACC Athlete of the Year
1973
Succeeded by
Tony Waldrop
Preceded by
Bill Walton
NCAA Basketball Tournament
Most Outstanding Player
(men's)

1974
Succeeded by
Richard Washington
Preceded by
Tony Waldrop
ACC Athlete of the Year
1975
Succeeded by
John Lucas
Preceded by
Bill Walton
Naismith College Player of the Year (men)
1975
Succeeded by
Scott May
Preceded by
Bill Walton
NBA first overall draft pick
1975 NBA Draft
Succeeded by
John Lucas

  Results from FactBites:
 
David Thompson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (146 words)
David Thompson (politician) (1836-1886), former member of the Canadian House of Commons
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David Thompson (basketball) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1125 words)
David O'Neil Thompson (born July 13, 1954 in Shelby, North Carolina) is an American professional basketball star who played for the Denver Nuggets of both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and American Basketball Association (ABA), as well as the Seattle SuperSonics.
Thompson played basketball in a time in which the "dunk" was outlawed via the "Lew Alcindor" rule.
Thompson was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player on May 6, 1996.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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