Brooks Thompson Was "Great Person, Great Teammate"

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

By Josh Cohen
June 10, 2016

ORLANDO – Brooks Thompson, a former first round NBA Draft pick of the Orlando Magic and a reserve during the Magic’s run to the NBA Finals in 1995, died on Thursday. He was 45.

Thompson was reportedly diagnosed with double organ failure in April and was hospitalized with a blood infection. The news comes just two days after another former Magic player, Sean Rooks, died from heart disease.

Thompson’s coaches and teammates from his playing days in Orlando raved about his basketball knowledge, terrific work ethic, relentless spirit and important role on the team.

“He was an excellent shooter and very knowledgeable," said Richie Adubato, assistant coach of the Magic for the two seasons Thompson was in Orlando. "He was instant offense for us. We would run screens for him. Great attitude. Really understood the game. He was a great person.”

“He was a great teammate,” Jeff Turner said. “We had a lot of great conversations about the league. He worked hard. He would always do things for Shaq, Horace and the guys. Great spirit about him.”

Thompson, who was selected 27th overall in 1994 by the Magic after starring at Oklahoma State, appeared in 71 regular season games in Orlando and averaged 3.6 points and shot 35 percent from 3-point range. He played four seasons in the NBA with stops in Orlando, Utah, Denver, Phoenix and New York.

Most recently, Thompson was the men’s basketball head coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He guided the school to their first ever NCAA Tournament win when they defeated Alabama State in the opening round in 2011.

Thompson’s most memorable performance with the Magic came in the playoffs when he scored 17 points in Game 4 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals against the Chicago Bulls. He also had two regular season games in which he scored 20 points or more.