On Thursday, the Rutgers men’s basketball program announced the addition of T.J. Thompson, who will serve as director of basketball administration on head coach Steve Pikiell’s staff.
Thompson has several connections with Rutgers Basketball, including having been a four year starter at George Washington under then head coach and current Scarlet Knights assistant Karl Hobbs. Pikiell was an assistant on Hobbs’ staff, so the three have had a relationship for almost 20 years. Thompson served as a captain his senior season and was named a First Team All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection.
In addition, Thompson is the co-founder of AAU program the D.C. Blue Devils from New Hampshire. He served as program director and head coach for multiple age groups the past six years. Thompson helped dozens of players continue to their careers at the college level, but one in particular is relevant in this case. Rutgers Captain Geo Baker played for Thompson on the Blue Devils for multiple years.
“We are very excited to welcome T.J. and his wife Ilima to the Rutgers family,” said Pikiell. “I was fortunate to coach T.J. for four years. His basketball knowledge, combined with his experience at both the collegiate and professional levels, will be a tremendous asset. He’s been through the battles as a player and was instrumental in helping us build up our program at GW. He loves basketball and has a passion for the game. T.J. will fit in seamlessly with our staff, as we add yet another high-character and quality individual to the program.”
From the press release:
In his new role, Thompson will be responsible for assisting the men’s basketball support staff with day-to-day administration of the program. His responsibilities will include academic support, media relations, individual player support, film breakdown, player analysis and assisting in overseeing the program’s University and community outreach endeavors.
A native of Germantown (Md.), Thompson was a four-year starter and two-time all-conference selection at GW. He helped the team to its first Atlantic 10 Conference tournament title as a senior team captain in 2004-05. The Colonials captured 22 wins, their most since 1997-98 and the second most in 50 years, en route to a top 20 ranking and an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Thompson still holds the GW career record for three pointers with 229, while ranking fifth in assists (484) and eighth in steals (158).
This hire helps Pikiell strengthen the culture within the program by adding a person who aligns with his vision and beliefs. He was a successful player for Pikiell and Hobbs in the past, as well as someone familiar and relevant within AAU circles. In every area, adding a strong support person who is trusted by Pikiell should help make the Rutgers Basketball program better.