Mychel Thompson with students. Photos: 10th Year Seniors
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
The Thompson Family Foundation continues its community outreach efforts in The Bahamas with a surprise visit to Claridge Primary School.
Mychel Thompson, Klay Thompson and other board members spent the afternoon interacted with students on the basketball court, in the classroom and hosted them to a free lunch.
Mychel, the eldest son of Bahamian basketball icon Mychal Thompson serves as the Family Ambassador and a trustee of the foundation.
The foundation has been active in its assistance in the Hurricane Dorian restoration effort but continues to explore avenues of giving back.
“We’re just trying to come back and make a difference any way we can. Just seeing the kids and how happy they were, it’s always good to give back to The Bahamas. As of now we’re still trying to figure out the best way we can help everybody and do what we can because it’s going to be a long effort, it’s not something that’s going to take a few months, it’ll probably be a few years,” Mychel said, “The Bahamas always shows the Thompson family love, we try to give the love back and I’m just happy to be here and to be able to contribute to where my dad came from.”
According to its website, the mission of the Thompson Family Foundation is to enrich the lives of youth in the United States and The Bahamas through fitness and education.
“We want to give back and help underprivileged kids that don’t have everything. They have the gifts but they can’t really succeed because they are not given the opportunities,” Mychel said, “We want to help push them to greatness because there are so many kids out there that can do great things whether it’s sports or something in school, we’re just trying to provide avenues where people can succeed.”
Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson, currently in rehabilitation for a knee injury that will keep him sidelined this season, also addressed the students.
“It was good to hangout with you guys. I wish I could actually play some basketball with you guys, sometimes and a lot of wish I was your age again. School is so fun, you get to be here with your friends, and the people that care about you. If I have to give you guys any advice I would say respect your fellow classmates, treat them like brothers or sisters. Always listen with open ears to your teachers because they have your best interest at heart. I know school sometimes can seem boring to you at times but it pays off so much in the end when you’re my age,” he said, “Just enjoy everyday.”
In July, Mychel and other foundation staff members visited New Providence and delivered supplies to those displaced by the storm.
Proceeds from the foundation’s Celebrity Golf Tournament were donated to the Hurricane Dorian relief effort. The Foundation also matched all of the proceeds raised from the event. In addition, Klay also pledged that the foundation would match Buddy Hield’s initial donation of $100,000 toward restoration efforts.
Mychal Thompson was recruited from The Bahamas to Miami Jackson High and eventually to the University of Minnesota. He was the top overall pick in the 1978 Draft by the Portland Trailblazers and enjoyed a 13 year NBA career highlighted by a pair of championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The entrance of the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium that leads to the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium is named in his honour.
Always a strong presence in The Bahamas, the Thompson family are frequent participants in the annual Jeff Rodgers Summer Basketball Camp, while Mychel was also a member of The Bahamas’ national team at the 2014 Centrobasket tournament.
“To whom much is given, much is required,” the elder Thompson said, “If blessed with riches, health, or knowledge, you should be willing to pass it on.”