On Wednesday, 2010 Texas basketball commit Tristan Thompson was kicked off his high school team for what his head coach called “public insubordination”.
So what happened? And will his commitment or that of his teammate, 2011 Texas commit Myck Kabongo, be affected by the incident?
It all started when Tristan Thompson hit a jump shot against Passaic Tech. It would be the last shot he’d take as a St. Benedict Prep Gray Bee.
He scored the bucket, but St. Benedict head coach Danny Hurley felt his star forward didn’t give any hustle when getting back down on defense after the score, according to Thompson’s teammate, 2011 Texas commit Myck Kabongo. So, at the next dead ball Hurley yanked Thompson from the game.
“Coach subbed him out and Tristan wasn’t happy. (Thompson) said something under his breath, I’m not sure what, and coach started yelling at him,” said Kabongo.
According to Kabongo, after Hurley had yelled at him, Thompson starting yelling back and the two loudly exchanged words. Eventually, Thompson stormed of the court.
“Tristan had enough,” said Kabongo. “He left and went back to the locker room. He changed and then came back out and watched the rest of the game sitting on the bench in his regular clothes.”
St. Benedict’s Prep still won the game, but the relationship between coach and player wasn’t going to be salvaged. Hurley decided to remove Thompson from the team due to the incident, citing “public insubordination”.
For now, Thompson plans to finish out the semester at St. Benedict’s before moving on, but what will not change is his collegiate destination. Kabongo said he talks the Texas head coach Rick Barnes “every night” and that Texas has indicated that the scholarship for his teammate is still on the table.
“Tristan really is a good guy and they know what kind of guys we are,” said Kabongo. “We’re still going to Texas.”
As for Kabongo, he currently plans to play out the rest of the season with the Gray Bees. Now that recruiting is behind him with his very early commitment to Texas, he’s been able to focus on school — where he’s an honor roll student — and on basketball. Kabongo told Inside Texas he’d like to improve every element of his game, but what he’s focusing on the most is something Barnes preaches.
“Defense,” said Kabongo. “I really believe I can become a lockdown defender.”
The 6-1, 165-pound Kabongo is also working hard on ball distribution and plans on playing point guard when he gets to Texas.
Kabongo is Texas’ only commit for 2011. Along with Thompson, shooting guard Daniel Bejarano is committed for the class of 2010. Texas has signed three players for 2009: SG Avery Bradley, SF Jordan Hamilton and SF Shawn Williams (for more, see Scouting Report: 2009 Basketball Signing Class).