Former Basketball Player Coaches High School Alma Mater
JEFFERSON CITY - They say you can't go home again, but try telling that to first year Jefferson City basketball coach Blair Thompson.
The Jefferson City Jays are half way through their first season with new coach, Blair Thompson. Thompson has his own storied past, as a former Jays player.
"This, right here, is where I want to be. I took this knowing full well that coming home isn't always necessarily easy," said Thompson
Thompson played at Central Missouri State University after a storied playing career for the Jays.
His success is not lost on his players. "It's great to play for someone who went through it and made it to where we are trying to get to, himself, here at this school. It brings back tradition and pride," said senior guard Jack Young.
Thompson's late father John, who passed of pancreatic cancer in 2003, was the women's coach at Jefferson City for many years. Blair grew up in the high school gym, and he hopes he can build relationships with his players like his father did in that gym years ago.
"He had those kind of relationships with a lot of his players, kept in touch with a lot of them. And, you know, I think he had that way of talking to people that they bought in, instantly." said Thompson.
The excitement around his hire has rejuvenated a class of seniors, who saw the lighter side of the first year coach during a tournament in Joplin.
Young said, "Down there, for the basketball warmup songs, all they play is 80's rock. And everytime we would look over to Coach Thompson, he would be mouthing every single word, he knew every single band, every word that they said."
As Thompson looks back on this season, one thing he will not forget is what the program means to him.
"I just feel fortunate, it means a lot. This place means a lot to me, and obviously being here, it's special to me."
The Jays currently sit at 7-10. They will take on Saint Louis University high school tonight at 7:30 pm.