Throughout Black History Month, the American-Statesman will take a daily look at the black athletes who have had a lasting impact in Texas’ athletic department. Today, we are writing about basketball player LaSalle Thompson.
A 6-10 center from Cincinnati, Thompson wore the No. 42 for Texas from 1980-82. Thompson ranks 14th at UT in career points (1,463) and third in total rebounds (1,027). Since the start of the 1961-62 season, no Longhorn has bested the 55 career double-doubles recorded by Thompson.
During the 1981-82 season, Thompson averaged 13.5 rebounds per game and became the first Longhorn to lead the nation in an individual category. T.J. Ford (assists, 2001-02) and Roderick Anderson (steals, 1994-95) have since accomplished that feat.
Chosen fifth overall by Kansas City in the 1982 NBA Draft, Thompson was the first first-round pick in Texas’ history. Thompson would up averaging 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game over 15 NBA seasons. Thompson is so far the only ex-Longhorn to last 15 years in the NBA, although LaMarcus Aldridge is currently in the midst of his 14th year.
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