Klay Thompson’s No. 1 jersey from his Santa Margarita basketball days is now hanging on a wall in the gym after a well-executed ceremony on Friday during a school assembly that brought out students, faculty, old teammates and Thompson himself, complete with confetti, spotlights and white towels commemorating the day.
“I owe Santa Margarita big time for what they’ve done for me,” the Golden State Warriors All-Star guard said before walking into the gymnasium through a line of cheerleaders as students cheered his every step.
Sitting next to his father, Mychal, on a podium, Thompson, 26, was gracious in thanking his old teammates who showed up for the ceremony.
And he gave a lesson to the high school students today that no matter how big he’s gotten, he pointed out how he wishes he had joined the chess club because playing the game is now something he does while traveling.
“Absorb as much knowledge as he can,” he told students during a brief speech.
Thompson helped lead Santa Margarita to a state championship before moving on to Washington State and becoming a first-round draft pick of the Warriors. He has since won a World Championship and Olympic gold medal.
“I forever cherish it,” he said of his high school experience from the ages of 14 to 18.