Brimmer and May forward Gianni Thompson verbally committed to the Boston College men’s basketball program on Sunday, making him the first member of the Eagles’ 2021 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-8 Thompson, a Dorchester resident, said he grew up always wanting to play for BC and felt the team’s fast-paced style fit him well. The three-star recruit chose BC over Providence, Penn State, and Virginia Tech among others.
“Being able to say that I can play for my hometown school and put on the BC jersey is a really good feeling,” said Thompson. “The feeling of playing in the ACC, against really big schools, and then seeing my family after is amazing. BC allows people to make plays and play to their strength and that intrigued me.”
Thompson averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds per game as a junior playing in NEPSAC Class AA for Brimmer, which is located a mile away from BC’s campus.
Tom Nelson, who coaches Thompson at Brimmer and for the Mass Rivals AAU team, said he saw Thompson take a big step in his ball-handling and shooting this year. He feels like BC’s offensive freedom will help Thompson develop his game further.
“Being a Boston kid, I think he felt like he has the chance to do something special for the community,” Nelson said. “It’s been a long time since a Boston kid has done something successful at BC.”
Thompson is the fifth player from the Rivals to commit to a Division 1 school for the Class of 2021, joining Tyler Whitney-Sidney (Lehigh), Camaron Tongue (Santa Clara), Lyndel Erold (Brown), and Casey Simmons (Northwestern).
At BC, he’ll reunite with former Rivals products Makai Ashton-Langford, DeMarr Langford, and Justin Vander Baan.
“He already knows three of them and how they play and that helps a lot,” said Nelson. “He knows how they fit and how they go about it. You don’t have to worry about learning the whole team.”