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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko (https://twitter.com/kj_franko) or email kfranko@trentonian.com.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ryan Thompson going to training camp with Jazz

When Ryan Thompson went undrafted in June, the former Rider star quickly regrouped, inking deals to play with two teams in NBA summer leagues and hoping to earn an invite to a training camp.

Thompson still has work left to do, but after accepting a training-camp invitation Wednesday from the Utah Jazz, he's a step closer to achieving a life-long goal.

"It feels really good," Thompson said. "Just having options was a situation I was happy with."

After impressing scouts and coaches with his play in the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues, Thompson had training-camp offers from the Jazz and the Sacramento Kings.

Though Thompson played for Sacramento in the Las Vegas summer league and his older brother, Jason, is a key contributor, Thompson felt the best fit was Utah, a team that prides itself on developing young players.

"It was a situation with roster space, and it seemed like the best fit," Thompson said.

Thompson said Utah coaches and executives have compared him to Wes Matthews, a former Marquette standout who, like Thompson, went undrafted and played for Sacramento in the summer before catching on with Utah.

"I talked to (coach Jerry Sloan) and the GM and we decided I'd come in and be that type of player," Thompson said.

Thompson, a two-time all-MAAC player who finished fourth on Rider's career scoring list, averaged 9.3 points in four games with the Boston Celtics in the Orlando summer league. He then averaged 5 points in five games with the Kings in the Las Vegas league.

"He more than held his own," said Rider coach Tommy Dempsey. "All he could do when he didn't get drafted was use it to motivate him. he knew at that time that his load got tougher, but it didn't end anything. He kept moving forward every day, played well in the summer leagues, and he'll have another chance. All you can ask for is to have another opportunity."

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