Jamaican American Basketball Player, Amen Thompson, Makes NBA Defensive Second Team

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that Jamaican American Amen Thompson, a member of the Houston Rockets, has been named to the All-Rookie NBA Second Team. This is the fourth year in a row that the Rockets have seen one of their players selected for the All-Rookie team. Thompson was drafted with the Number 4 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and has appeared in 62 games in his rookie season. His averages include 9.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 22.4 minutes per game.

A prominent player from the start

Thompson made his skills known to Rockets’ coach Ime Udoka during the 23 games he played as a starter, and during the entire season, the coach enjoyed watching the player develop as an off-ball guard. Udoka said that Thompson experienced a good learning process, and while he had to adapt to things he wasn’t used to, he was a quick learner and became especially valuable as a dunker.

Early training

Amen Thompson was born in San Leandro, California, in 2003, one minute older than his identical twin brother, Ausar. The boys have the same middle name: XLNC (“excellence”). Their older brother, Troy Jr, played basketball in college, and their uncle, Mark Thompson, ran the 400-meter hurdles for Jamaica at the Summer Olympics in 1992. The twins were homeschooled during sixth and seventh grades so they could concentrate on basketball, training with their father, Troy Sr, whose family is Jamaican, started them in the sport when they were seven years old. Inspired by basketball star LeBron James, Thompson played for Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he won a state title and was ranked a five-star recruit by ESPN. Amen and Ausar were the first brothers in the history of the NBA draft to be among the top five in the same year, with Amen the Number 4 pick going to the Houston Rockets and Ausar the Number 5 pick going to the Detroit Pistons.

Family pride

The selection of the brothers was a source of pride for their parents and extended family. Maya Wilson, their mother, said she could not describe her feelings as she watched her sons begin their professional sports careers. In an interview with ESPN in 2023, she said she was excited about what the future holds for them and “very, very happy.”

Photo – Houston Rockets/Amen Thompson