Billy Thompson (basketball)

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Billy Thompson
Personal information
Born (1963-12-01) December 1, 1963 (age 55)
Camden, New Jersey
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High schoolCamden (Camden, New Jersey)
CollegeLouisville (1982–1986)
NBA draft1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19th overall
Selected by the Atlanta Hawks
Playing career1986–1998
PositionSmall forward
Career history
19861988Los Angeles Lakers
19881991Miami Heat
1992Golden State Warriors
1993–1994Rapid City Thrillers
1994San Miguel Beermen
1994–1997Hapoel Jerusalem
1997–1998Peñarol de Mar del Plata
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points2,566 (8.6 ppg)
Rebounds1,615 (5.4 rpg)
Stats at

William Stansbury Thompson (born December 1, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association and other leagues. He spent a 5-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, and registered one minute of court time with the Golden State Warriors in 1991.

School and college[edit]

Thompson played basketball at Camden High School in New Jersey, where he was a two-time high school All-American.[1] Thompson was considered the number one high school prospect in the land. He elected to play college basketball for Denny Crum at the University of Louisville. His team reached the semi-finals of the national championship his freshman year, where they lost to the University of Houston. In his junior year he led the Cardinals in scoring, rebounding and assists.[2] His senior season the Cardinals won the 1986 NCAA national championship.[2]


In the 1986 NBA Draft he was selected 19th overall by the Atlanta Hawks. In a draft-day trade he was sent to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a reserve on the Lakers teams that won back-to-back NBA Championships in 1986-87 and 1987-88. He is one of only four players to have won an NCAA championship and an NBA championship in back to back seasons, the other three being Bill Russell (University of San Francisco 1956, Boston Celtics 1957), Henry Bibby (UCLA 1972, New York Knicks 1973) and Earvin Johnson (Michigan State 1979, Los Angeles Lakers 1980).

After an injury-riddled sophomore season with the Lakers,[2] he was then left unprotected in the 1988 NBA expansion draft and was selected by the Miami Heat, where he was a starter for the Heat's inaugural game and averaged 10.8 points per game in Miami's expansion season. As a part-time starter in 1989-90, Thompson averaged 11 points per game. He also appeared in the 1990 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where he finished 7th out of 8 participants.

Personal life and work abroad[edit]

In 1994 Thompson went to play professional basketball in Turkey for Fenerbahçe. He then played in Israel for Hapoel Jerusalem B.C. from 1994 to 1997. Along with Israeli star Adi Gordon Thompson led Hapoel to two State Cup titles.

Thompson became a born-again Christian during his time with the Lakers, and said that the decision helped him end his drug use. Now he has 5 children and currently pastors a church[2]


  1. ^ Strauss, Robert. "IN PERSON; Hoop Dreams Revisit Camden", The New York Times, February 13, 2000. Accessed April 6, 2008. "Legends have grown up around its stars, from the Sunkett brothers and Itchy Smith in the 1960's to Billy Thompson and Milt Wagner, teammates in the early 1980's, both of whom went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
  2. ^ a b c d Edes, Gordon (1 November 1987). "Laker's Second-Year Forward Will Start Season on Injured List : Billy Thompson's Comeback Hits a Snag". Los Angeles Times. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)

External links[edit]