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Stillwater's Rico Thompson realizing D-I dream in South Dakota

Rico Thompson's opportunity arose through Lloyd Williams, formerly a head coach at Rogers State in Claremore and Muskogee High School.
by Scott Wright Published: August 4, 2013

Rico Thompson is proof that the path to a dream isn't always a clear one.

Thompson worked to prepare himself for Division I basketball, his No. 1 athletic goal. And while he had the talent and the grades for it, the D-I offers weren't coming.

His opportunity arose through Lloyd Williams, formerly a head coach at Rogers State in Claremore and Muskogee High School. Williams was hired as an assistant at South Dakota for the 2012-13 season, and during that year, Stillwater coach Michael Davis let Williams know of his under-the-radar guard.

That led to Thompson receiving a scholarship offer and eventually signing with the Coyotes.

“He's a great team player,” Davis said. “He could've averaged 28-30 points a game for us if he had wanted to do that, but he bought in to doing what the team needed to win.”

Thompson, who has spent a few weeks at USD already, was preparing himself for college basketball before he even realized it.

The Stillwater guard had become close friends with Oklahoma State's Markel Brown and often worked out with him at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Former Cowboy guard Keiton Page would spend time working with the Stillwater players, too.

And in a similar fashion, Davis has worked to model his practices after those he's been able to watch at OSU.

“All of our coaches played in college, so we ran our practices like a college practice,” Thompson said. “Coach Davis had me prepared for college, because once I got there and started working out, I felt like I had been doing the same stuff for two years.”

by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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