The surefire moment that it became apparent Anthony Thompson had decided to accept a scholarship offer from Holy Cross came this past Tuesday after the Bullis junior point guard made a campus visit to Harvard.
“On the way back from Harvard, he asked his father, ‘Can we swing by Holy Cross so I can get a sweatshirt?’ ” Bullis Coach Bruce Kelley recalled Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after Thompson phoned Holy Cross’s coaches to let them know he, indeed, would accept their scholarship. “That was a telltale sign for pops.”
Thompson, who is 5 feet 10 and averaged 12 points and 4.4 assists this past season, was really only beginning the recruiting process. Holy Cross Coach Milan Brown and his coaching staff, with their myriad of Washington-area ties, were the first and only ones to offer Thompson a scholarship.
But Brown, the former Howard University player and Mount St. Mary’s coach, had taken an active role recruiting Thompson, which resonated with Thompson and Kelley. The Crusaders had three freshmen from the Washington area on the roster this past season, including Patriot League Rookie of the Year Justin Burrell from Potomac (Va.). Next year’s recruiting class includes Potomac School guard Cullen Hamilton.
“Are you going to go where the assistant tells you he likes your game or are you going to go where the head coach likes your game?” Kelley said, noting that Cornell, St. Frances (Pa.), Jacksonville and Robert Morris were also recruiting Thompson. “It’s really early for a 5-10 guard [to decide]. I’ve gotten several messages today from coaches saying, ‘What’s going on? We haven’t even gotten started.’ It was really over before we got started with Anthony, to tell you the truth.”