Starkville's Thompson to take talents to Mississippi College

Kirsten Thompson, seated middle, and her family celebrate the sgining of the Lady Jacket with Mississippi College Tuesday.
Staff Writer

One March afternoon at the Starkville Sportsplex's Travis Outlaw Center, Kirsten Thompson was working on her basketball skills with her father Keith.

Thompson had just come off a 21-point outing to lead the Starkville Lady Yellowjackets to a 46-27 win over Murrah for the Class 6A State championship and she was chosen the Most Outstanding Player for the game.
That success just didn't happen with he snap of the finger for Thompson.

"It took a lot of hard work during and out of practice," Thompson said of her strong finish with the Lady Jackets. "It's been a very enjoyable, but also tough three years because (coach Kristie Williams) always pushed us to be the best. I've just really enjoyed growing as a player and a person under her and the assistant coaches.

"Not very many high school athletes can say they've won two state championships or let alone one. I was just happy to be able to do well in high school."

Even with the outstanding ending to her high school career, Thompson was still not satisfied and started working on what's next.

Thompson announced on Tuesday afternoon that she is going to play at the next level with Mississippi College. She was supported by family, friends, coaches and administration at the SHS library.

After playing in the shadows of Kelsey Jones the two previous years, Thompson developed into a strong post player herself.

Williams appreciated the dedication of Thompson to not get frustrated when the playing time didn't come as quickly as she wanted.

"Sometimes it's hard to be in the background for part of the time and the light shines on you for the other half of the time," Williams said. "It can get frustrating, but she never allowed herself to succumb to any type of frustration. She always wanted to be at that same level as Kelsey and be the best she could be, so she put in the hours, always wanted to work on her shot and always wanted to work on her footwork because she knew those were two key elements to make herself available for teams to look at this year."

The Lady Choctaws did look the way of Thompson.

Upon taking a visit to Clinton and the Mississippi College campus, Thompson knew that was the place to continue playing basketball and furthering an education.

"I liked the coaching staff, the team and environment of the campus," Thompson said.

There is no doubt in the mind of Williams that Thompson will take that same effort and desire to Mississippi College that make her a productive player for SHS.

"She put in the extra work conditioning her body to get it in the top notched shape she is now," Williams said. "It took a lot of effort and that want to. A lot of players don't have that want to. She has it and is going to carry it over to Mississippi College."