March 7, 2007

Two team race for Thompkins

Year one at Oak Hill Academy is in the books for Howard Thompkins and the 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward learned a little bit about himself in the process.

Life in Mouth of Wilson, Va., was much different than the last two years for Thompkins, who shined at the Wesleyan school in metro Atlanta. The days of being a 25 points per game scorer and rebounding a dozen boards a game were put on the backseat.

His points were cut in half and his primary role was to be a post presence on a team that featured guards Nolan Smith, Alex Legion and Brandon Jennings. Thompkins admitted this year was a growing process.

"I was just so used to playing whatever position I wanted to. If I wanted to make the pass, I made the pass. If I wanted to shoot the three, I shot the three. If I wanted to post up, I posted up," he said. "But (at Oak Hill), I had to play a role. I was a little thrown off by that. I wasn't comfortable with that. It wasn't what I'm used to. I'm looking forward to getting back to where I was this spring and summer."

The five-star forward said the season allowed him to view the game a little differently than before.

"The best part about is learning how to deal with the different kind of bullets that are shot at you and knowing how to handle it," Thompkins said.

"I figure this is the last year to prove myself. I want to be a McDonald's All-American. That's my goal."

His goal is also to land at a high-major school. Two programs have emerged as the teams to beat. Thompkins visited both of them while on his two week spring break from Oak Hill. He took in Florida and Georgia last week.

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