Long before Klay Thompson led the Golden State Warriors to three championships, the prolific shooter was making memories on the court as a Washington State Cougar.
In his three years with WSU, Thompson earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors in his first year, was named All-Pac 10 First-Team during his sophomore season, became the first Cougar to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week on three occasions and set a tournament record with 43 points and eight-three pointers in the 2011 Pac-10 tournament.
Thompson finished his junior campaign by setting a single-season scoring record with 733 points to become WSU’s third all-time scorer. He chose to forgo his senior year, declaring for the draft in 2011. He was selected 11th overall by the Warriors, where he has been named NBA All-Star on five occasions, a two-time All-NBA Third Team selection, All-Defensive Second Team and was integral in leading the Warriors to their first NBA championship in 40 years in 2014.
Now, Thompson is joining Steve Puidokas as the second Washington State player to have his jersey number retired.
Thompson returned to Pullman on Saturday to watch his No. 1 basketball jersey go into the rafters of Beasley Coliseum during halftime of the Washington State-Oregon State game. Moments after Washington State's Isaac Bonton hit a buzzer beater from deep to end the first half, Thompson took the court.
"Everytime I walk in here, I get chills," Thompson said to an electric Beasley Coliseum. "I will always be a Coug. I'll always be a Coug. I'm so grateful for where basketball has taken me. It's taken me to China, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, around the world. But there's nowhere like Pullman. There's nowhere like the Palouse."
Klay Thompson’s No. 1 jersey rising into the rafters at Washington State... pic.twitter.com/V9DwGNGB9O— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) January 18, 2020
He was joined by a star-studded cast, including fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry, former teammate Zaza Pachulia and Warriors assistant GM Mike Dunleavy.
Zaza getting Klay ready is perfect 🤣 pic.twitter.com/qt21lsTnyg— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 18, 2020
Steph Curry was asked if his career would be the same without Klay Thompson.— Chris Montano (@gswchris) January 18, 2020
His response: "No, not a chance. Situation is everything." pic.twitter.com/7OVY7Fa8uJ
The fans love Klay 🤩 pic.twitter.com/F1vY1rinXd— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 18, 2020
Steph enjoying his Splash Bro’s moment 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ZVnHwgxkz9— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 18, 2020