The identical Thompson twins want to make it big in the NBA Draft of 2023.
On Thursday, the yearly NBA draft will take place in Brooklyn, and the lives of 60 young men will change forever.
The event has two rounds of 30 picks, and 30 teams choose players based on where they ended last season. The worst teams get to pick first in the draft, where they can choose from the best players.
The most talked-about player in this year’s draft is 7’3″ French star Victor Wembenyama, who looks like he will be picked up by the San Antonio Spurs.
He is likely to be followed by two American prospects: Scoot Henderson, a 19-year-old guard who is 6’2″ and has spent the last two seasons in the NBA’s developmental “G-league,” and Brandon Miller, a 20-year-old who was a star at the University of Alabama and is 6’9″.
Anything can happen after those picks.
Amen and Ausar Thompson, identical twins who are 20 years old, want to go high in the draft. They want to be the first brothers ever to be chosen in the top 10.
Ausar Thompson tells BBC Sport, “I want five Championships, MVPs, and defensive Players of the Years.” This shows how much he wants to win and do many things.
Thompson has never been one to aim low. He is 6’7″ tall.
Both the high-flying wing player and his point guard brother grew up in Oakland, California. At age 13, the twins moved more than 3000 miles across the country to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to play at Pine Crest High School, a small private school that was very different from the public school system they had been used to.
The move paid off. In 2021, the Thompsons led Pine Crest to a state victory and got scholarship offers from more than a dozen colleges. But while most high school athletes in the United States go to college when they turn 18, the brothers picked a riskier path.
At 17, they skipped their senior year of high school and joined the new Overtime Elite League (OTE), which is based in Atlanta and is for people between the ages of 16 and 20.
“The resources are what made us decide to join OTE,” says Ausar. “They talked about what the gym would look like, even though it wasn’t finished yet.”
His brother Amen adds, “And your teachers are always there for you when you need them. They’ve helped us get into good habits.”
The boys had a fairy-tale ending at OTE when their team, the City Reapers, won the league title. Now that they’re leaving, they’re sure that they’ll make a big difference in the NBA.
Ausar says, “I’d be excited to play against Giannis [Antetokounmpo].” “If I had to watch over him, you know I’d be tough on him.
“I’m looking forward to playing more guys in my position, like Shae (Alexander Walker), D-book (Devin Booker), Donovan Mitchell, Jimmy Butler, and people like that”.
Amen adds, “I’d probably say guys like LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant.”
When their names are called out by NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Thursday, Amen and Ausar will be one step closer to their goal. Then the real game will start.