Toree Thompson's talents lead to many options after playing days at TCU
This is the fifth in a series featuring 2019 Broken Arrow Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
The heroic efforts that kept a perfect season intact and pushed the 2014 Broken Arrow Tigers girls basketball team into the state championship game seemed like an out-of-body experience to Toree Thompson, who will be inducted into the Broken Arrow Athletic Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility on Sept. 13.
“I don’t think that was me that did that,” Thompson said when talking about the 65-63 state semifinal come-from-behind-win over Choctaw. “Something came over me. I can’t take the credit. That was not me.”
Trailing by three, with 24 seconds to play, Thompson tied the game with a three-pointer from the wing. As Choctaw worked the clock for a last second shot, teammate and still good friend Amari Dennis stole the ball and passed it to Thompson with 10 seconds to play. Thompson dribbled down court, split two defenders and banked in a layup over the front of the rim as time expired.
Five-plus years later, Thompson sounded much like she did talking with the media immediately following that game.
"It's like something took over in me and just did all of that," Thompson told the Tulsa World’s Mike Brown on the Mabee Center floor in March of 2014. "Afterward, you're like, 'Was that really me?' Everything was moving in fast motion. It was crazy, like in a dream."
The 70-51 state championship win over Edmond Santa Fe, in which Thompson scored a game-high 23 points, was somewhat anticlimactic compared to the highly dramatic semifinal victory. But it was none less satisfying, as the Tigers won their first girls basketball state championship since 1983 and finished the season 28-0.
“We just all took it upon ourselves to not lose that game,” Thompson said of the state final. “There were girls on the team that had the mindset that we did not want to be beat. That mindset of wanting to go to the next level. All of that combined really helped us.
“I’m not sure we ever just thought of going undefeated, because I felt like every game that we played we had the mentality of being focused on winning this game. I don’t think we ever sat back and thought, ‘okay, we got this,’ because there was some good talent out there.”
The best of the state’s talent was Thompson. She signed with Ole Miss out of high school, but transferred to TCU at the beginning of the second semester of her freshman year. She played in 96 games with TCU, averaging 7.7 points and shooting 37 percent from three-point range in her career.
Graduating with a degree in communications, Thompson’s interests are varied.
“Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many things I can do,” Thompson said. “But it’s all about making a decision and going with it.”
Currently working as a certified trainer with and emphasis in foot care, and whose territory covers Texas and Oklahoma, Thompson finds herself in a gym quite often.
“Of course, I can’t help but shoot,” said the most decorated basketball player in Broken Arrow’s history. Averaging 21.9 points a game, Thompson was named 2014 Miss Basketball Oklahoma, Jim Thorpe Athlete of the Year, Tulsa World Player of the Year and the Oklahoman’s Super 5 Player of the Year.
While still playing in a women’s league in Euless, Texas, Thompson has visions of one day owning her gym.
“It will be basketball related, but I want to teach spiritual wellness,” Thompson said. “I want to have juice bar in there. I’m into the all-natural stuff these days.”
There’s also a music career. Her high school and college teammates knew Thompson as not just a basketball player, but as a talented rapper, as well. Reagan Pebley, TCU women’s basketball coach, is a fan.
“I love Toree’s talent,” Pebley said of her team captain in a TCU 360 interview in 2018. “It gets our team so excited when she does it for the team. I love watching what she does. It has nothing to do with basketball. She is so gifted at it.”
Music and basketball were two constants around the Thompson household when she was young. Her passion for basketball started at age five. The love for music came a year later.
Her basketball skills obviously are well known. Unless you are a friend of Thompson’s on Facebook or former teammate, her music talent may come as a surprise, like it was to Pebley.
“The people around me know that I rapped, but not many others knew that I did,” Thompson said. “Unless the conversation was about music or I ran into somebody else who did music it was never a topic of conversation.”
Around Thompson, basketball is always the conversation starter.
“I knew from a very, very young age that basketball was my dream,” she said. “My dad always had me play up two years when I was younger. That gave me a lot of confidence. When I would play with the boys and do well; I think that kind of raised the bar on my competitive nature.”
A nature that led to a hall of fame induction.
The 2019 Broken Arrow Athletic Hall of Fame Class will be inducted at Broken Arrow's opening home football game against Owasso on Sept. 13.