Wyoming coaches forged strong bond with Hunter Thompson

Hunter ThompsonHunter Thompson called University of Wyoming men’s basketball assistant Jeremy Shyatt shortly after deciding to decommit from Creighton.

That would surprise no one who followed the Pine Bluffs standout’s recruitment.

After all, the Cowboys were the runners-up for the 6-foot-10, 235-pound forward’s services when he announced his commitment to Creighton in mid-March. Back then, he talked about how hard his decision was and how good of a job UW had done recruiting him.

Many expected Thompson to commit to the Pokes shortly after he reopened his recruitment. He did just that Sept. 6. But that’s not why he called Shyatt.

“I called Jeremy and asked him – because he and I have such a good relationship – what the most respectful way to decommit was,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t trying to tell him that I was trying to be a Poke.

“He told me there was nothing wrong with (decommitting) and that I’m not the only basketball player to decommit from one school and commit to another school. He was really supportive and helped me be respectful to Creighton.”

In Thompson’s mind, there was no perfect way to break the news of his decommitment to Creighton. There definitely is a wrong way to deliver that news.

Thompson could have taken to Twitter and tweeted out a screen grab of a note he thumbed out about how much he appreciated Creighton’s coaches making their scholarship offer. Instead, Creighton’s coaches heard about Thompson’s decision to reopen his recruitment straight from the horse’s mouth.

That says a lot about the type of person Thompson is.

The fact Thompson sought Shyatt’s advice about the right way to decommit speaks to how good of a job Wyoming’s coaches did of recruiting Thompson. Recruiting is about building relationships and Shyatt clearly has a strong bond with Thompson.

It’s no wonder he committed to the Cowboys and agreed to walk on as a freshman before going on scholarship the following season. First-year UW coach Allen Edwards is holding his last available scholarship for a wing player and Thompson – a power forward with perimeter skills – doesn’t fit that bill.

He could have walked right out of Edwards’ office and gone to one of the other schools with scholarships available.

The fact Thompson is willing to walk on as a freshman speaks not only to his character but also to how committed he is to the Cowboys.

“I won’t be considered an NCAA Division I signee but that doesn’t affect where my heart and mind want to go,” Thompson said. “I’d rather be happy and pay a little bit of money for one year than be miserable and not pay anything.”

Thompson is listed as a four-star recruit (out of a possible five) by ESPN.com and a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247sports.com. He also competed in the NBA Players Association’s Top 100 camp in June in Charlottesville, Va.

Thompson has earned All-Class 2A honors each of his three seasons in Pine Bluffs. He averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds last season and has average 17.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.3 assists in 84 career games.

In addition to Creighton and UW, Thompson also had scholarship offers from Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah State. UNLV had expressed some interest in his services after he decommitted from Creighton.

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