Damon “Redd” Thompson, Jr 5’10 145 2024 John Marshall HS, Richmond VA
Damon is one of the most impressive freshman guards I’ve had the opportunity to see over the last several months. His combination of high-level shot-making skills and blow-by quickness makes him a nightmare matchup and his endless supply of energy especially on the defensive end where he is a disruptive on-ball defender makes for an exciting prospect oozing with upside! Damon is strong, speedy, and athletic and plays with great poise and confidence for a freshman and can impact the game from either guard position and on either end of the floor!
Damon is extremely quick with the dribble and his first step and first few steps are so dynamic he leaves defenders in his wake regularly. He gets anywhere he wants on the floor because of his great quickness and is a blur in transition. In addition to his explosive first step and blow-by quickness, Damon is a skilled and crafty ballhandler. He keeps defenders off balance with hesitations, inside outs, crossover dribbles, and step back crossovers and has the ability to decelerate and accelerate so quickly and effortlessly it’s nearly impossible for defenders to stay in front of him. Damon does a good job embracing contact and is physical enough to establish and use contact to his advantage against many guards. He is a very good passer demonstrating vision and playmaking intelligence.
Off the ball, he is a challenging matchup as well. Damon is one of the better spot-up shooters in Virginia’s freshman class and requires major attention from defenders. He has a pure stroke and is nearly automatic on catch and shoot jumpers. He is lethal in transition with his ability to pullup for three-pointers or switch gears and blows by defenders. His ability to move without the basketball in the half-court is exceptional. His shot preparation both off the catch and the dribble is skillful and he’s always on balance and under control. Damon can pull up off the dribble and score and shows some creativity finishing around bigs at the rim. He has a good touch for finishes off the glass.
On the defensive end, he uses his great quickness, upper body strength, and a long wingspan to harass opposing ball handlers. Off the ball, he anticipates nicely and is a threat for steals in passing lanes. Damon comes from successful athletic roots! His Dad, Damon “Redd” Thompson is considered by many to be one of Virginia’s all-time top football talents. He was an All-Metro wide receiver and running back at Highland Springs High School in Henrico VA before a record-setting career at Virginia State University where he set an NCAA DII record for receptions and earned a spot in the CIAA and VSU Halls of Fame! Mr Thompson was a 3 time Collegiate All American and 3X Harlon Hill finalist from 1998-2000! The elder Thompson now has a very successful business as a youth counselor and athletic trainer specializing in mentoring and mental health, plyometrics, and agility training. Under his guidance, Damon Jr should continue to flourish and I expect will be a highly sought after target from college coaches as his high school career progresses.