University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Falcon Sports

Falcon Spotlight

Ryan Thompson

By Nate Martinson
UWRF Sports Information

In this his junior season, Ryan Thompson is one of the leaders of a very young Falcon basketball team.

"I do feel that I need to be more of leader this year and I want that role. I want to take more ownership for my play and for our team's play," Thompson said.

Thompson, 6-0 190 pounds, is the starting point guard for a very young Falcon team.

"Ryan loves to play the game and is very driven to do well," said Falcon Coach Jeff Berkhof.   "He is one of our few players that has experience playing college basketball. Naturally, the guys look for some direction from Ryan out on the court and he has done a good job responding to this role."

Last season Thompson started 20 games and led the WIAC with 112 assists. He averaged 6.1 points per game and shot 89 percent from the free throw line.

Last season the Falcons were 6-19 (5-11 WIAC) and Thompson feels that the team will improve this season and have a better year. He scored a then career-high 18 points against Simpson and had 12 points and 10 assists in a game against Superior.

"I think were going to find some success this season. I think we can really surprise a lot of people," Thompson said. Already this season Thompson has established a new career high in points when he scored 22 against William Penn.

Thompson felt that this school had a lot to offer him on and off the court. He felt that UWRF was the place for him.

"River Falls has been great for me. I've made some great lifelong friends here. For the most part, the people here are great and are so easy to get along with," Thompson said.

Thompson, who went to Viroqua High School, was named the team's Most Valuable Player three times and was the Player of the Year in the Coulee Conference in 2004.

He reached the 1,000 point scoring mark in his senior season, while averaging 18 points and over five assists per game.

"We had a lot of seniors that year and all of us had played together since we were in fourth grade. So we played together very well and were a very close group," Thompson said.

He was a member of National Honor Society and is the son of Maria and Kevin Thompson. He is majoring in math education.

Outside of basketball, he likes to listen to music, do artwork, be outdoors, and be with family and friends.

The key to this season is that the Falcons have to play together and not turn the ball over in crucial situations. Thompson also feels that Falcon Coach (Jeff) Berkhof is very excited for this season and it has carried over to the players.

"The new coach brings a great amount of energy. Berkhof is really excited about the opportunity to coach and we have a whole new and great staff that really brings excitement and energy everyday to practice," Thompson said.

"Ryan played the majority of his minutes running the team from the lead guard position last year and he will continue to play there again this year," said Berkhof.   "He will also play some minutes at the off-guard position. He's a nice combo guard in that he can handle the ball if needed and he can knock down shots. He has worked extremely hard on his shooting skills since his freshman season."

Thompson feels that the team's confidence is very high and that it has improved everyday and that will carry into the rough WIAC schedule. But he still feels that the team needs to play better as one unit.

"I think we're as confident, if not more than any of the teams that I have played on in the last two years. We need to start to play and function as one instead of five. I think that's are biggest hurdle right now," Thompson said.

Ryan Thompson

Ryan Thompson

Hometown: Viroqua, Wis.

High School: Viroqua

Year: Junior

Height: 6-0

Weight: 190

Major: Math Education

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