She’s an ace at both sports. In fact, she has signed to play volleyball at Wallace State-Hanceville, a traditional power in the sport.
In basketball, she did well this past season. Thompson averaged 19 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.4 steals a game for a Piedmont team that advanced to the Northeast Regional. She shot 61 percent from the field and scored more than 20 points in 15 games and more than 30 in three games.
For her efforts, she is The Anniston Star’s Class 3A girls basketball player of the year.
“Starting off as a ninth-grader, we knew she was going to be something special,” Deerman said. “Usually when you have a player of her caliber they don’t develop much as a senior and stay about the same from one year to the next. We haven’t had many players improve that much. She’s got such good character.
“She’s one of the best players I’ve ever coach.”
Thompson said she tries to get better, regardless of the sport.
“I’ve just worked hard at basketball every day, going against some of the players on my team,” she said.
While Thompson’s footwork improved during the offseason, the biggest added components to her game came from scoring with her left hand and shooting 3-pointers.
“Half of her baskets were from her left hand,” Deerman said. “A lot of times in high school, kids don’t like using their left hand. And she hadn’t shot a lot of 3s in the past, but I noticed in practice she started hitting a few. Then in the preseason before we started playing, she was hitting them.”
Deerman credited Piedmont boys coach Tommy Lewis for encouraging him to let a post player shoot from long range. Given the chance, Thompson hit 30 percent of her 3-pointers.
Piedmont made the Northeast Regional behind the play of Thompson and others, but fell to Holly Pond in the first round of the tournament.
Unfortunately for fans of her basketball abilities, that was her final hoops game.
“I like basketball a lot, but I enjoy volleyball more,” Thompson said. “I’ve always wanted to play volleyball at the next level.”
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.