Ausar Thompson: A Deep Dive into Detroit’s Newest Rookie Phenom

Ausar Thompson has been extremely impressive in summer league so far. I was hoping he’d be playing in the final game against the pacers, but right now as I’m watching the game he hasn’t checked in, so I assume they shut him down for the rest of the event. Later in this article, I am going to go into Ausar’s performance throughout the summer league, but this is meant to be a deep dive into his history and what turned him into the fifth pick in the 2023 draft. Naturally, being the twin brother of Amen Thompson, this will also cover a lot of his past, as well. Without further ado, let’s go back in time, to when the twins were only 9 years old.

At the young age of 9, Ausar and Amen developed an ambitious training plan that “made them look like geniuses.” Named “Amen and Ausar’s basketball dream”, the twins had a daily regime that included running 2 miles while dribbling left-handed, completing 200 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 50 pull-ups, 500 calf raises, squatting while watching TV, and making 200 or more shots each day. This is a hell of a routine even for a college athlete, much less for two children who were in elementary school. They also worked hard to improve at reading and writing, known as very smart students as well as great ball players. The twins were helped by having great parental figures who “made sure they had everything available to them so they could manifest these dreams to fruition,” their mother, Maya, stated.

The Thompson twins were not average children, who were born into wealth, with elite coaching and AAU camps from the time they could walk. Born in San Leandro, California, they were brought up by their parents to show appreciation and gratitude for everything they were given. Their father, Troy Thompson, worked as a fruit picker and construction worker, while their mother, Maya, was an administrator in a care home. She lost her job two years after the twins were born, and was on benefits for a good chunk of their life as they struggled to make a living for their family. Maya and Troy showed a great deal of sacrifice for the development of the twins, as they would drive them hours upon hours across the United States to attend various practices and camps. The family decided to homeschool Ausar and Amen at the age of 7, so they were able to focus on and hone their skills. Maya left her job in order to do this, and she did a fantastic job, when the twins are interviewed, one can see how well-spoken and intelligent they both are at such a young age.

During the twin’s eighth grade year, The Thompsons relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they would enter the basketball program at Pine Crest School, where NBA player Brandon Knight had formerly attended. The twins would immediately start for the team, with Ausar Thompson averaging 17 points, 6 boards and 3 assists as a sophomore, earning second team all county honors. Entering his junior year, Ausar was named a member of the Broward county fab five, and would average 23 points, 7 boards, 3 assists, and nearly 3 steals per game, leading his team to win the state championship, and fittingly winning Broward county co-player of the year with who else but his twin, Amen Thompson.

Going into his senior year, Ausar Thompson was rated a 5 star recruit, gaining a scholarship offer from Alabama in 2019, at the age of 16. He would go on to receive numerous offers from top tier schools, including Arizona, Kansas, USC, LSU, and several others. Despite his vast array of options, Ausar would end up signing a two year contract with Overtime Elite alongside his brother Amen, a professionnal league based in Atlanta for players between the ages of 16 and 20. He would end up bypassing his final year of high school and college to immediately play professionally, joining Team Elite. He would average 15 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, and 2 blocks a game in his first season, leading his team to the championship, where he was named finals MVP after recording 20 points and 11 rebounds in the final decisive game.

In 2022, Overtime Elite expanded, and Ausar was named captain of the City Reapers, his new team where he would continue to play alongside his brother, Amen. He had multiple player of the week honors, including a game where he broke the OTE record for assists with 12, alongside 17 points and 8 boards. He was named OTE MVP at the end of the season, with averages of 16 points, 7 boards, 6 asissts and 2 steals per game. He would once again win finals MVP, leading the City Reapers to a sweep over the YNG Dreamerz, alongside a game winning 3 pointer to win the series in game 3. In a beautiful twist of fate, the assist was from none other but Amen Thompson.

So now we are back in the present. Ausar has been drafted at number five, right after his twin brother Amen, the first pair of twins to be both selected top five in the same year. It is yet to be seen what Ausar will do in the league, but we already have a lot to go off of. Firstly, it is clear that he has an immense work ethic, and just having his twin brother, Amen, to compete against, will provide him with constant motivation to improve himself every day. He has a humble upbringing, as well as fantastic role models in his family, that will help keep him focused and grounded as he learns to adjust to the NBA, and the sudden fame and money that come with it. He has a coach in Monty Williams known for developing young players, as well as other talents surrounding him in Cade, Ivey, and Duren, just to name a few. He is in the absolute perfect spot to maximize his talent.

As for his skillset, while summer league is obviously never a perfect indicator of a player’s skill in the NBA, we can gather a lot by how he played alongside his teammates. Ausar is clearly a selfless player that values wins over individual stats, and he also brings sensational defense to the table. His athleticism was also unreal, it literally looked like he was floating on his putback dunk the other night. I was also impressed by his playmaking abilities, as Amen was touted as the better one of the twins, but Ausar did a great job leading the offense and creating opportunities for other players on the court. He also is an incredible rebounder at his height, averaging 10 a game in the summer league. This is great for his role in the Piston’s offense, as he can grab a board and run the fastbreak with his ability as a secondary/tertiary playmaker in Detroit’s lineup. I expect him to start off the bench at the beginning of the season, but I think he is eventually going to start, as he will prove just how much he contributes to winning.

So far, Ausar has had an incredible career, coming from literally nothing to being a top five pick. Despite all the work he has put in though, his journey is only beginning. I personally can’t wait to see what he can do for Detroit throughout his career, and it is going to be entertaining for years no matter what happens watching the twins grow and compete with each other.

2 thoughts on “Ausar Thompson: A Deep Dive into Detroit’s Newest Rookie Phenom

  1. Another great article by ncucco17! After reading this deep dive and seeing the new lineup for the Pistons this year, I’m really excited to see how this team will develop.

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