Former Indiana men's basketball player Race Thompson signed with the New York Knicks to play in the 2023 NBA Summer League, according to an IU Athletics release Sunday. Thompson was one of 64 collegiate basketball seniors invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which was played in April, with professional scouts in attendance for games.
Thompson played in five of six seasons with the Hoosiers, averaging just over 11 points and seven rebounds when starting all of the team's 35 games in 2022. That year, Indiana reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016. Though Thompson went through Senior Day festivities, the forward announced his return via social media for the 2022-23 season.
Thompson injured his knee during the first half of the team’s two-point loss to Iowa January 5, 2023. The three-time team captain later said he thought his career was over. Thompson, however, returned to the court January 22 and the starting lineup three days after that, albeit scoring four points against his hometown team, the University of Minnesota.
By the season's end, Thompson scored 20 points in Indiana's first-round NCAA Tournament game, then scored double-digits in the team's second-round exit. Now, the Hoosier forward has signed for the summer with the Knicks — where Indiana basketball's Mike Woodson played his NBA rookie season in 1980, then was the head coach for the 2011-2014 seasons.
Thompson’s Hoosier teammates, Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trayce Jackson-Davis, were picked in the first and second rounds, respectively, in Thursday’s 2023 NBA Draft in Brooklyn. Hood-Schifino was selected No. 17 by the Los Angeles Lakers, and Jackson-Davis was drafted No. 57 by the Washington Wizards, then traded to the Golden State Warriors.
All three players can be expected to log minutes in the NBA Summer League — the Lakers and Warriors will play each other on opening night. Since Thompson is only signed for the summer with the Knicks, the former Hoosier would require an additional contract offer from any organization to play in the NBA G League or 15-player major-league rosters in the NBA.
The 76-game Summer League will start July 7 in Las Vegas. Each team will play four games before the tournament begins July 15. The champion will be decided July 17.