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Saturday, February 14, 2009
Tristan Thompson heading to Findlay

By Christopher Lawlor
ESPN.com

Tristan Thompson has found a new home. The 6-foot-9 junior post from Toronto will leave St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) for Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.).

Findlay assistant Todd Simon confirmed with ESPNU late Friday that Thompson would be in the fold sometime next week and would be in uniform for Findlay, No. 4 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings, when it travels to Duncanville (Texas).

Thompson, a highly skilled ESPNU 60 player who will sign with the University of Texas, was dropped from the St. Benedict's squad earlier this week after a run-in with Coach Dan Hurley.

"We're excited that Tristan wants to continue his education here," Simon said. "We have room on the roster, but he's more of a long-term player. I don't know what kind of contribution he will make this season because this team has tremendous chemistry going, but he's a talented student-athlete."

On Thursday, Thompson's AAU coach, Ro Russell of the Grassroots Canada Elite, said his star player would leave St. Benedict's.

Thompson is in good academic standing and an NCAA qualifier, said Russell.

Findlay makes sense for Thompson, who will join Cory Joseph, a 6-3 junior guard, who is his childhood friend from Toronto and AAU teammate.

"There's obviously a comfort zone with Cory already here," Simon said. "Cory's had a good experience here and that was the draw."

Thompson will join future Longhorns teammate Avery Bradley at Findlay. Now the speculation shifts to St. Benedict's sophomore guard Myck Kabongo, who some believe may join Joseph and Thompson at Findlay next year. The three are Toronto natives and could reunite in the Nevada desert.

Ironically, Thompson may face his old teammates at the National High School Invitational during April 3-5 in North Bethesda, Md. No. 8 St. Benedict's and Findlay have accepted invites.

"[Thompson's] timing is good; we have a shorter roster than most schools," Simon added.