Have you ever heard of the Thompson twins? And no, we are not talking about the 1980s British pop band. Amen and Ausar are two outstanding young athletes that are expected to be lottery picks in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft to be celebrated this Thursday.
The twins are actually supposed to be called before the top 10 is over, making them the first brothers to both be drafted in the first 10 picks of the same draft. You probably haven’t heard this story due to the immense publicity given to prospects such as Brandon Miller and of course, French sensation Victor Wembanyama.
The brothers were born in Oakland, California, but finally made it to a private high school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. However, both players decided to skip their senior years of high school and begin their route to becoming professional basketball players.
Take a look at ESPN’s recent special on the Thompson twins as they head for the NBA Draft:
This came as little surprise, considering Ausar led his Pine Crest School in scoring three years ago with averages of 22.6 per game, as his brother Amen recorded an average of 20.5 points to help guide the team to the state championship.
“They’re elite kids, they’re elite workers, elite competitors, obviously elite athletes. They can have everything they want. They’re hard workers, they’re grinders and, you know me, I love the grinders,” former NBA player Mike Miller told the press last year.
“They’re playing against guys who’ve played basketball their entire lives, and they’ve got them scared to put the ball on the floor.”
Even though colleges in Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona State and many other schools were following their footsteps to lure them to their programs, they ultimately decided to jump straight to test NBA waters in June 22’s Draft.
The brothers signed with Overtime Elite two years ago to prepare for this Thursday’s NBA Draft
By May 2021, the twins were signed to Overtime Elite, a program that has proven to be an efficient trampoline to help players reach the professional basketball, either NBA or abroad.
“Some of the benefits of going to Overtime Elite is having a lot of resources,” Ausar said while being part of the Portland Trail Blazer’s predraft workouts. “A lot of people that have been at the next level coached at the next level and even trained at the next level. So you kind of know how things should be done, so I say it just prepares you. I had to learn a lot about professionalism.”
His brother, on the other hand, explained why college wasn’t the best choice for him and his brother as they graduated from high school.
“I feel like it was a great move for me because I feel like at college, where the coaches need you to win right now, their job is on the line, whole organization is on the line, you don’t get to develop stuff that you’re not so good at right now,” Amen told ESPN.
“But at OTE, I get to develop whatever I want to make myself better for the future because I feel like OTE is more of a development league. Even though we got games, we develop, and I think that’s one of the more important things for a young basketball player.”
Source: Basketball Insider