In his nearly four years at Case Western Reserve University, senior David Thompson has flourished on the basketball court, in the community and, most importantly, in the classroom.
Thompson, the team’s starting center, finished his Spartan basketball career earlier this month as the university’s leader in shots blocked (155) and fourth all-time in rebounds (652). He’s a two-time University Athletic Association (UAA) Player of the Week and this year was named to the All-UAA Second Team for a stellar season in which he averaged 15.6 points per game (eighth in UAA), 10.6 rebounds per game (first in UAA) and 1.7 blocks per game (first in UAA).
The past two years, Thompson helped organize the basketball team’s participation in Case for Community Day, in which they volunteered by painting at East Cleveland’s Martin Luther King Community Center and planting trees at Forest Hill Park.
“It was interesting to see the amount of work needed just a short drive from campus,” Thompson said. “These volunteer experiences showed me that you only need to look around you to find causes that need support.”
Also, during the team’s trip to Costa Rica in 2013, Thompson and his teammates spent time volunteering, both running a youth basketball clinic and painting at an elementary school.
Academically, Thompson will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a Master of Science in accountancy, while maintaining a 3.8 grade point average. He is a three-time UAA All-Academic selection and a 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Second Team selection.
Thompson’s range of accomplishments has not gone unnoticed, as he was named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Jostens Trophy, a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va., to honor the most outstanding men’s and women’s NCAA Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account basketball ability, academic prowess and community service.
Thompson is the second male student-athlete in CWRU history to be named a Jostens Trophy finalist after Carson Oren in 2006. He also is the only UAA student-athlete—man or woman—to be named a finalist for the award. The awards presentation took place yesterday in Salem, Va.
“Being nominated for the Jostens Trophy speaks to the kind of season (14-11) we had at Case Western Reserve,” Thompson said. “It also reinforces how Case Western Reserve’s rigorous academic environment has taught me a lot about the importance of hard work, and this has been applied both in classroom and on the basketball court. Furthermore, my coaches and teammates basketball helped teach me the importance of being a good teammate and how that is a fundamental step towards becoming a successful leader.”
After graduation in May, Thompson will return to his native state of Texas, where he will take the Certified Public Accountant exam and attend Southern Methodist University’s law school. He plans to study mergers and acquisitions or tax law.
“I’m going to miss basketball the most after graduation,” Thompson said. “I don’t think the reality of graduating will hit me until next fall when I would normally be preparing for the season.”
Want to know more about the senior Spartan student-athlete? Read this week’s five questions.
1. Facebook or Twitter? Until recently, I was more into Facebook. But in the past two months, I’ve made a conscious effort to switch over to Twitter. It’s easier to access information you actually want to read about on Twitter.
2. What is your favorite building on campus and why? The Peter B. Lewis Building is my favorite. I’m a tour guide and whenever I give tours, people take interest in it. Also, as an accounting major I took all of my classes there.
3. What is your favorite vacation spot? My family, fellow senior basketball player Tim Chung and I went to Aruba for spring break. So, I think that is my favorite as of right now. It was nice to go snorkeling and relax in the warm weather.
4. What is one of your hidden talents? I’ve been going to The Jolly Scholar’s trivia nights and I’ve gotten pretty good. So, I suppose trivia.
5. What is your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve? My favorite thing about Case Western Reserve is definitely the basketball coaching staff and my teammates.