Head Coach Travis Thompson
Being a former Division 1 / Division 2 basketball player has taught Travis many valuable life lessons. During his time at NIU, Travis started personal training with athletes who were looking to make it to the next level. He taught them the proper mechanics on a jump shot, combo moves to get separation, how to finish at the rim, how to a develop a good defensive stance, and many other strategies to help them become successful.
One thing that separates Travis from many other coaches is that Travis has a bigger perspective than just the game; it’s about life and how to overcome adversity through various trials that force one to either quit or keep going. After going through five knee surgeries throughout his career, Travis personally learned how to overcome both mental and physical obstacles on and off the court. It’s his injuries that taught him the importance of teaching life lessons to athletes.
Travis, being an athlete himself, knows what it takes to train the body and mind to become successful. He knows what it’s like to start from the bottom, and through hard work and perseverance, rise to lead his team to become champions.
Travis comes from very humble beginnings. He is one of three players in PN-G high school history to ever play college basketball at the D1 level. He has competed with some of the greatest athletes in the world including DeAndre Jordan (current member of the Los Angeles Clippers) and Tarik Black (member of the Houston Rockets).
Travis has had the privilege of learning and working closely with La’france Cooper. Cooper was great friends with Von Wafer (previous member of Boston Celtics, and Houston Rockets). Under their teaching, Travis learned drills used everyday by the Houston Rockets. Furthermore, He has worked with BJ Tyler (played for University of Texas, and the 76ers behind Allen Iverson). Tyler was gracious enough to share with Travis his insights of not only what it takes to make it to the NBA, but also how to survive among the elite. After persevering through much adversity, Travis has gained a better understanding of the mental and physical demands that are required of a competitive athlete.
Travis strives to provide positive reinforcement that helps encourage young athletes to keep going. He also has a passion to teach kids the importance in not giving up and the satisfaction of overcoming struggles they might face throughout their athletic career.
Travis gives the glory to God for all of his success and for the people that never gave up on him during his journey. He believes that, if it were not for God’s constant pursuit of him and His everlasting grace, He would not be here today to give back to the kids who need it most. Travis realizes how important it is to have an enthusiasm of life, making everyday count.
One verse that Travis has looked to in times of trouble during his athletic career reads:
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”
– 2 Corinthians 1:5-7