There's an interesting way to determine whether a high school athlete has attained big-time status in the college recruiting world.
Just take a peek at his family's phone bill.
"I kind of knew it would be high," Thompson said. "So many different colleges were texting me, so I had to text back."
Starting June 15, when college coaches could begin to contact him, Thompson's cellphone rang nonstop. Coaches from Duke, UCLA, USC, Georgetown, Arizona and Stanford called or sent text messages. And he wasn't the only one being inundated with calls and messages.
Loyola Coach Jamal Adams said he had to investigate whether he needed a new text-messaging plan to deal with all the coaches trying to communicate with him.
"My phone just rings and rings," Adams said. "A coach called and said, 'He might be the hottest name in the country from where he's come from.' "
By the time Thompson's basketball season ended in February, he was named second-team all-Mission League. By summer's end, through attending camps and playing in tournaments in Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Las Vegas, he had attained national-recruit status. Rivals.com has him ranked No. 24 in the nation for the Class of 2009.
"It happened so fast it was crazy," he said.
Add the fact he has a 4.2 grade-point average, and Thompson has put himself in position to select any college he wants.
He grew two inches over the summer, raised his weight to 185 pounds and became a better ballhandler and more consistent shooter.
"Really, it's been a lot of work in the gym," he said.
All the sudden interest has made an impression on Thompson.
"It was amazing," he said. "I was in awe. It made me feel good about myself and all the hard work."
Thompson wasn't the only Southland athlete who earned respect for dramatic improvement during the summer.
Others distinguishing themselves:
* Chris Solomon, Los Angeles Fairfax. With Chace Stanback off to play basketball at UCLA, the Lions needed a new scoring threat, and the 6-2 senior stepped up big time. He was the most valuable player at the Watts Summer Games, where he averaged more than 20 points a game.
"There were many nights he put up 25 or 30 points and we didn't know it," Coach Harvey Kitani said.
* Beau Wright, Los Alamitos. A 16-strikeout performance over seven innings in an American Legion baseball game against Lakewood let everyone know that this 6-1, 195-pound left-handed pitcher is ready to become a varsity standout in his junior year.