Tyree Thompson has been a standout player at Karr in both basketball and baseball during his high school career and he wanted to make sure he could play both sports at the next level.
Northwestern State gave the 6-foot-4 senior that opportunity and he jumped at the chance by signing with the Demons on Wednesday afternoon.
“It just felt like home and when I went on my visit I just felt comfortable,” Thompson said. “It’s a place where I think I can accomplish my dream at. I created a great bond with their coaches and I feel they will help me on the court and off the court and on and off the diamond.”
“(Northwestern State) gave me the opportunity to play both sports that I love so much. And also it gives me a way to get an opportunity to play in the league with either one. It also gave me the opportunity to show my talent in baseball and basketball.”
Wednesday was the final day of the fall signing period for both basketball and baseball as well as many other NCAA sports.
Oral Roberts had offered Thompson in basketball but he was receiving interest from Louisiana-Lafayette and UNO in both sports while also getting attention from LSU, Creighton and Louisiana-Monroe in baseball.
Thompson averaged 10 points and six assists last year as Karr’s point guard and he went 8-4 with a 1.75 ERA with 101 strikeouts while hitting .600 with seven home runs and 34 RBI. He has five career no-hitters including one perfect game.
“We have addressed an obvious need by signing point guard Tyree Thompson and we are confident that his dynamic play making ability, athleticism, and versatility will fit extremely well with our fast paced style of play,” Northwestern State basketball coach Mike McConathy said in a school press release. “He understands pace and space and can facilitate an offense to help his teammates get easy shots or create for himself. Tyree is a prideful defender and relishes the role of guarding the opponents best offensive perimeter threat each game.”
“Tyree is an overall gifted athlete that will be able to showcase his accurate shooting touch on the hardwood as well as utilize his live arm as a pitcher on the baseball diamond. He will join current Demon basketball player and baseball pitcher, Colby Koontz as another two-sport athlete who will don both a basketball and baseball uniform. He has really benefitted from the coaching stability at Edna Karr High School in both sports. Each year he has improved under the basketball tutelage of Taurus Howard and baseball coach Donnie Russell and we expect him to continue his growth under our staff and our baseball staff led by Lane Burroughs.”
Koontz, 6-9, 240 pounds, is listed as freshman forward/center with the basketball team and a right-handed pitcher for the baseball team.
“Tyree has a skill set that you just can’t teach,” Burroughs said in a press release. “His arm really turns and is extremely quick. He really knows how to spin the baseball. He already has a feel for plus secondary pitches, and we haven’t even touched on his extreme athleticism for a big man.
“He is a quality young man, and it was great getting to know him, his mom and little sister on his visit. I want to congratulate the basketball coaching staff for finding a real gem and helping us with a true diamond in the rough. I’m so excited for Tyree’s future and the role he will play for Demon basketball and baseball.”