Nov. 16, 2017
By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer
Tyler Thompson has been a fan of Roane State Community College ever since he was a freshman at Roane County High School.
That's when Randy Nesbit, head coach of the Roane State Raiders, noticed the gangly teen shooting left-handed as a member of the Yellow Jackets' basketball team.
Nesbit coaxed Thompson into trying some right-handed shots, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Other college basketball programs expressed interest in Thompson, including Walters State Community College in Morristown, Hiwassee College in Madisonville and Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky.
But only Roane State would do, Thompson said.
Today, the 6'6" forward for the Raiders is one of Roane State's most ardent supporters.
"Tyler is committed to Roane State Community College and is thrilled that he chose to attend," said his mom, Ruth Thompson, a teacher at Roane County High. "I don't know if anyone could love RSCC more than Tyler."
Thompson's dad is Tim Thompson, principal of Kingston Elementary School.
During Thompson's senior year at Roane County High, he averaged 16.9 points per game.
Thompson said there's a "good atmosphere around the Roane State basketball program. We have the chance to do something special, and I want to be a part of it."
He heaped praise on Nesbit, who has coached Roane State for over 25 years.
"I just really feel that he (Nesbit) is a great developer of players," Thompson said.
Nesbit is also a role model, said Thompson. "Eventually, I want to be a coach myself," he said.
Thompson graduated from Roane County High in 2016 and compiled an impressive record in basketball in what he says is one of "toughest districts in AA basketball."
During his senior year, he averaged 16.9 points per game. That season, the Roane County High School Yellow Jackets won 14 games, the most in more than 10 years.
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