The prestigious Pangos All-American Camp, an invite-only event featuring the top high school prospects in the nation, returned this summer after it was cancelled due to the pandemic last year. Pro Insight was on hand to evaluate the event and caught up with Jaylen Thompson of Southern California Academy of Los Angeles (CA) and Team Arsenal (CA). Thompson was selected to the Top-60 Cream of the Crop Game and averaged 16.8 points & 5.5 rebounds while showcasing his two-way potential, throughout camp.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Thompson talked about his growth as a player the past year, his background, his recruitment update, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Jaylen Thompson, from Oakland, California:
Pro Insight: What are your initial impressions of the event so far?
Jaylen Thompson: I’ve been really excited to come to it. I learned about it pretty late, like around Tuesday of the week before. I’m really excited, there’s a lot of good guys here and I’m ready to compete.
PI: Any players you’re excited to play with or against?
JT: Not necessarily. I’m just going to take every person with a different approach, a good approach. Don’t underestimate anybody. Don’t overestimate anybody. Just go out there and compete.
PI: Talk about how much your game has developed in the past year.
JT: In the past year I’d say my jump shot, both outside and mid-range, have developed a lot. I’ve been a pretty consistent shooter. On The Grind Session I was like one of the best shooters out there.
PI: What are you currently working on?
JT: The main thing I’m working on is my explosiveness. After getting to the basket, being able to rise, get through contact, dunking in traffic, those types of things.
PI: Describe your time with Southern California Academy. What’s that been like?
JT: SCA was a super different experience than what I was used to. Competition was always big, every game was a good game. You’re always playing D1 prospects and high majors like every game we played.
PI: Talk about your background.
JT: I’m originally from Oakland, California. There’s a lot of hoopers that come out of Oakland, I’d say. Super competitive playing basketball out of there. My sibling situation is complicated, I have a lot of siblings [smiles]. I have about 4-5 total, I’m the oldest of them all.
PI: Any other athletes in the family?
JT: We have some young athletes. My siblings are pretty young. My sister cheers in high school. Both my younger brothers hoop and they’re about 10 and 7 years old.
PI: What are your current measurements?
JT: I’d say I’m about 6’8” with a 6’10-11” wingspan. I had it measured the other day, I don’t remember a specific number, but it’s around 6’11”.
PI: Where does your height come from?
JT: I’m really the tallest person in my family. My mom is about 5’7” and my dad is about 6’2”. My grandpa is 6’4”, so I don’t really know where the height comes from.
PI: What are some of your interests off the court?
JT: Spending time with family and friends. I don’t really get to do anything between basketball and school, but when I have time alone I usually use it to spend time with family and friends.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?
JT: Transferring to SCA, my recruitment really picked up. I want to say I picked up about 7-8 offers since my transfer to SCA in this past year. Recently I’ve been looking to take some visits. I took a visit to Stanford on the 1st of June. I want to take a visit to USC sometime soon as well as any other schools that reach out.
PI: Do you model your game after anybody in particular?
JT: Coming up, my favorite player was Kevin Durant at OKC. I love his game. How he gets into a rhythm and gets into his shot. Now I like to watch Jayson Tatum a lot, he’s a similar type of player, but he gets to the basket a lot more.
PI: How would you describe your on-court vs. off-court personality?
JT: So, naturally I feel like I’m more of a nonchalant type of person. Basketball helps me change that a little bit, trying to be more expressive and outgoing. But naturally I’m more of an introverted, nonchalant type of person.
PI: What do you hope to be remembered for on and off the court?
JT: I want to be remembered as being a good teammate, getting other people involved, keeping their energy up. Being a high level/energy type of player.