Klay Thompson Inspires Many, Including His Own Brother

Stephen Dunn

Klay Thompson proved that players can come to WSU and go on to have successful careers in the NBA. Drawing on the inspiration of his success, Klay's younger brother, Trayce, continues to pursue his dream to play baseball at the Major League level.

This week the Athletic Department opened up its pocketbook in a bigger than expected way and hired Ernie Kent as its next Men's Basketball coach. Kent will be in charge of overseeing the rebuilding of a program that has been in steady decline since 2011 when Klay Thompson led the team on a run to the semifinals of the NIT tournament.

Thompson went on to be a lottery pick in 2011, and the Cougs have never really been the same since. While Klay has been living up to the expectations of his draft slot (and then some) as a member of the Golden State Warriors, his younger brother, Trayce Thompson, continues to chase his dream to one day play Major League Baseball. Currently, Trayce is playing for the Birmingham Barons, the Double A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

This article that appeared in the in the Montgomery Advertiser discusses how Klay's NBA success serves as motivation for his slightly younger brother to keep pursuing his dream to make it to "The Show." Trayce, a former second round draft pick, is currently in his sixth year of minor league baseball.

The lives of minor league baseball players have been well-documented or satirized in movies such as Bull Durham. Lower division leagues in all sports lack the glamor enjoyed by athletes at the highest professional levels, by a lot. While Trayce continues to pursue his dream amid humble surroundings, Klay is living his as one of the premier shooters in the NBA.

But let's not forget the huge steps Klay made to realize his dream during his time at WSU. We all saw him develop in front of our eyes, and have continued to watch him develop with each passing year of his pro career. Klay left us all with something very important, 'the best evidence rule." The best evidence rule simply states that the best proof that something is possible is seeing that it has been done before.

I often think that the best evidence rule is one of the biggest reasons Mike Leach is here as our football coach and the school continues to invest in its football facilities. Would all of this be happening if not for some of the big years WSU enjoyed during the Mike Price era when the Cougs made several bowl games and won Pac-10 championships?

In spite of the coaching change that has occurred since Klay's exodus to the NBA, I still think that WSU basketball will continue to benefit from Klay's success. Maybe he is inspiring a very talented Que Johnson to keep striving to reach the huge potential we saw glimpses of throughout the season. After having his 2013 season cut short to injury, I wonder if Davonte Lacy had Klay in the back of his mind while he worked hard last summer to elevate his game to the level he did. Hopefully, Klay will inspire a future recruit with a dream and a willingness to work hard to come to Pullman and elevate his game to the next level.

Pullman is a great place to begin the pursuit of a dream. Didn't most of us come here to pursue ours, even though we knew we were not going to be pro athletes? At WSU, we can often find ourselves in quiet places with time to think. And, in spite of what some 18 year olds may think at the tender age of preparing to leave high school, that can be a good and healthy thing.

FOOTBALL

The WSU Football team will resume its spring camp Saturday at 1 pm. At a recent spring practice, linebackers coach Ken Wilson was mic'd up

Linebackers Coach Ken Wilson Mic'd Up - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Linebackers coach Ken Wilson was mic'd up at a recent spring practice.

BASEBALL

The WSU baseball team scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning Friday and never crossed the plate for the rest of the game. The good news for the Cougs was that starter Joe Pistorese only needed one of them. Pistorese dealt a complete game shutout for the Cougs allowing only five hits and surrendering two walks to lead the WSU to a 3-0 victory. Leading the way offensively for WSU was Yale Rosen, who went 3 for 3 in the game and drove in what ended up being the decisive run. The win was the fourth straight for the Cougars to match their longest winning streak of the year and even the team's record at 13 wins and 13 losses.

Pistorese Blanks Golden Bears - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Southpaws yields five hits for second complete game of 2014.

SWIMMING

Swimming Garners Scholar All-America Honors - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State achieved Team Scholar All-American status for fall 2013.

TENNIS

Cougars Knock Off Washington, 4-0 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site

Junior Elizaveta Luzina's win at No. 1 singles clinched the match as No. 48 Washington State posted a 4-0 victory over No. 40 Washington in a Pac-12 Conference match Friday afternoon.

CLASSIFIEDS

Finally, it would be impossible to end a links post on inspiration without giving the person I consider to be the most inspirational Coug of all, Steve Gleason, a chance to make a deal. Thanks to some amazing technology and an even more amazing spirit, Steve is able to continue to share his wit with us on Twitter. Apparently, Steve is willing to depart with his esophagus to whoever may need it. #NoWhiteFlags

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