June 23, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. - Klay Thompson became Washington State University's all-time highest draft pick as he was selected 11th overall by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft Thursday.
A 6-foot-7 guard, Thompson became the first Cougar drafted since Kyle Weaver was taken as the 38th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft. He is just the second Cougar to be picked in the first round, joining Don Collins who went 18th overall to the Atlanta Hawks in 1980.
"We are all very excited for Klay," WSU head coach Ken Bone said. "He has left his mark on Washington State basketball and we're thankful for his contributions as a Cougar in his three years here. We're happy to see him move on to the NBA and pursue his dream and wish him nothing but the very best as he takes that next step in his career."
Thompson's dad, Mychal was the first overall pick of the 1978 draft by the Portland Trailblazers. He will become the fifth son of a number draft pick to play in the NBA.
"He's (Mychal Thompson) always been there to support me," Thompson said on ESPN's television coverage. "I didn't have to turn to anyone else because he was in the league for 12 years. I love him, I love my whole family and I thank them for all their support."
Thompson was the second Pac-10 player selected in this year's draft as Arizona's Derrick Williams went second overall. It marks just the fourth time that a Cougar went in the top two in the Pac-10, as Keith Morrison was the first Pac-10 player to go in 1986 (103rd overall), Mark Hendrickson was the second in 1996 (31st overall) and Don Collins was also the second in 1980 (18th overall). A native of Ladera Ranch, Calif., Thompson led the team and the Pac-10 and ranked 11th in the country with 21.6 points per game while setting the school record with 733 points during his junior season, 2010-11. He was named first team all-league for the second-straight season.
No other WSU player has been drafted by the Warriors. Collins played one year with Golden State during the 1983-84 season.
"He's the guy we had our eyes on," Warrior head coach Mark Jackson said on the television coverage. "Once we saw the process go through and still saw him on the board, it was an exciting time for us. And we're thrilled to have this young man because he's an outstanding basketball player."
Thompson Ranks on WSU's all-time list in 3-point field goals made (first - 242), 3-point field goal attempts (first - 620), points (third - 1,756), field goal attempts (third - 1414), scoring average (third - 17.9 ppg), field goals (fourth - 599), free throw percentage (fourth - .827), minutes (ninth - 3,367), steals (10th - 130), 3-point percentage (10th - .390), free throws (12th - 316), assists (13th - 259), blocks (14th - 74), steals average (14th - 1.33) , blocks average (16th - 0.755), and assists average (20th - 2.64).
All-Time Cougar Draft Choices
Year Player, Team (Round/selection)
1948 Vince Hanson, Baltimore
1950 Ed Gayda, Tri-Cities
1952 Gene Conley, Boston
1955 Ron Bennink, Ft. Wayne (3rd/24th)
1962 Terry Ball, St. Louis (8th/65th)
Charlie Sells, St. Louis (10th/83rd)
1965 Ted Werner, St. Louis (5th/44th)
1968 Jim McKean, Seattle (7th/80th)
1969 Ted Wierman, Detroit (4th/47th)
1970 Rick Erickson, San Diego (19th/237th)
1971 Dennis Hogg, Baltimore (7th/111th)
Jim Meredith, Cleveland (10th/153rd)
1972 Dan Steward, Seattle (10th/151st)
1976 Ron Davis, Atlanta (5th/70th)
Norton Barnhill, Seattle (8th/134th)
1977 Steve Puidokas, Washington (3rd/57th)
Harold Rhodes, Portland (8th/170th)
1979 James Donaldson, Seattle (4th/73rd)
1980 Don Collins, Atlanta (1st/18th)
Stuart House, Cleveland (3rd/53rd)
1983 Guy Williams, Washington (2nd/34th)
Craig Ehlo, Houston (3rd/48th)
Steve Harriel, Kansas City (3rd/60th)
Aaron Haskins, Kansas City (10th/219th)
1986 Keith Morrison, Sacramento (5th/103rd)
1987 Dwayne Scholten, Washington (6th/128th)
1989 Brian Quinnett, New York (2nd/50th)
1996 Mark Hendrickson, Philadelphia (2nd/31st)
2008 Kyle Weaver, Charlotte Bobcats (2nd/38th)
2011 Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors (1st/11th)