Eric Thompson is a 23 year old 203cm forward from Detroit, Michigan that is starting his professional career in Germany with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets. He started his basketball career with Saddleback JC. He then moved to Pacific (NCAA) and as a junior played 31 games averaging 8.2ppg, 5.6rpg, FGP: 52.4%, FT: 60.8%. As a senior he played 12 games averaging 9.9ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 57.6%, FT: 62.3%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Eric thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I’m currently still in California training and my summer has been going well I feel like I’ve been getting stronger every day.
Congrats on signing with German team ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen. This was your first experience at the transfer market and you were signed well into the summer. With what expectations did you go into this process?
I had little knowledge but not a lot. Therefore my agent really helped me out throughout this process.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it´s basketball? Some ex Pacific players played recently in Germany with Andrew Bock and Sterling Carter.
I heard a lot of great things about Germany including sports they are a big deal including basketball and soccer especially coming off a World Cup win in 2014. I’m not sure about who played in Germany from Pacific but I am sure they did well.
Did you ask your teammate at Pacific David Taylor for advice about Germany?
Aha nothing really at all but he talks about how Germany is a great league also tough to play in.
What was the deciding factor that made you sign on the dotted line with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets?
Coach Krizanovic made things comfortable and coming to this team felt like it will be a great decision.
Did you have any talks with head coach Igor Krizanovic?
Yes I had by me talking to him I picked up that he is a Coach that demands a player’s best effort and utmost respect because he knows what he wants out of his players.
Let´s talk a little about your game. The ETB Wohnbau Baskets plan to use you at center. How much experience have you had with this position at 203cm?
I played a lot of center going up due to being physical and not backing down because a player is taller than me. I can handle it, I’m familiar with guarding players 6’10 and up.
If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would it fit the best?
Zack Randolph mix with some Dwight Howard.
You can pretty much do it all on the court, but is your defensive energy and shot blocking one of your biggest strength?
Yes it is, I hang my hat on defense. Going up my coach always told me “you can always stop your man from scoring, but what difference does it make when your teammates gives up that basket you attended to stop during that defensive possession. You have to be smart while guarding your man as well your teammates and protect the rim and everything else will follow.”
What do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
Being able to create space off the dribble and passing out of the post.
You had your share of experience playing at the junior college level with Lake Michigan and Saddleback. Were you 100% confident from day one that you would make the jump to the NCAA?
Yes, I felt that I had the talent but will I be seen by other coaches so I can play at a division one level was the problem.
As a junior you had a 22 point, nine rebound game against Alaska-Anchorage and as a senior a 14 and 17 game against St Marys. Was this the best offensives games that you had at Pacific?
Yes those were the games at Pacific.
You missed the first half of your senior season and didn´t start to play until January 16th. What was most difficult in this period for you not being able to play?
The most difficult part was seeing your team struggle out there against some opponents that you know you’ll be able to help.
You had a eight point, eight rebound effort in 24 minutes in a 77-72 win against BYU. Your blocks down the stretch propelled Pacific to the win. How much pride do you take on defense?
Defense is number one in my book at the end of every game it matters about which team scored the most points when time runs out of course everybody wants to win but are you willing to put forth the effort to stop the other team from scoring that is focusing on beating you.
How did Ron Verlin groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Pacific?
Coach V taught me how to always prepare myself for the next step. How I can be two steps ahead of my opponent.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Greek Ilias Theodorou?
Lol can’t say much about this
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore, which 4 heads would you choose?
Of course LeBron James, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Paul George
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. With another ring on his finger, where does this title put him now in the debate with the best of all-time?
I say he’s already a walking Legend now he did it all.
Kevin Durant has signed a two year deal with the Golden State Warriors. What is your take on this and why so many bashers around, Lebron did the same thing going to the Miami Heat years ago
Kevin Durant did what was best for him as well LeBron did the same. The reason why I believe people have a problem because KD went to a team that sent him packing two years in a row and now he decided to join them. That’s like if LBJ went to the Celtics after losing to them in the past. Its a weird choice but he made it.
What was the last movie that you saw?
30 for 30 The Magic Moment.
Thanks Eric for the chat.