Growing up, Jason Thompson knew early on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. He has made it his life’s mission to help educate fellow athletes, children, and young adults about the causes for which he feels most passionate.
Jason Thompson grew up in small town New Jersey, but grew fast among his peers. At nearly 7 feet tall, Thompson elected to attend Rider University, where he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2007. This was accomplished by only two other collegiate players in a single season, one being Kevin Durant.
In 2008, Thompson was drafted by the Sacramento Kings 12th overall in the NBA Draft. He has averaged 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds over his career.
In 2010, Jason and his family suffered the tragic loss of his cousin, Tiffany Carroll, to heart disease. Tiffany was a seemingly healthy young adult and a fellow athlete. At just 25 years old, she lost her life to a disease known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. HCM is most commonly known as a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes.
After the passing of his cousin, the Jason Thompson Foundation was started. The passing of his cousin thoroughly inspired Thompson to launch the foundation to raise awareness about heart disease to athletes, children and young adults.
"It was established in 2010, right around the time my cousin, Tiffany Carroll, passed away,” Thompson said. "Ever since she passed away, I knew that was the focus point I wanted to have with my foundation. It’s mostly based out of New Jersey and Philadelphia, but in Sacramento as well."
The Jason Thompson Foundation has made strides to develop long-lasting partnerships with organizations that specialize in cardiac research and heart disease, to help realize his dreams in eliminating the threat of heart disease.
"We’ve teamed up with the American Heart Association,” says Thompson. "I have different events that donate to kids and basketball clinics. We teach them about exercise and eating healthy.”
It’s a form of reference to remind us of our responsibilities we have as role models and socially responsible individuals. We strive to Learn about the issues that are directly affecting the community we are so desperately trying to help. We Imagine a world devoid of heart disease and we use our Voices to raise awareness and share the many ideas we have to create a better world. Lastly but certainly not least, we Educate ourselves and our peers so that we are armed with the knowledge and resources needed to fight heart disease.
Throughout the year, Thompson holds a handful of events that help benefit the demonstrates these actions through fundraiser events, charitable acts of giving, educational seminars and corporate partnerships. with the aid and support of the community and like-minded charitable givers that can continue to make a difference and change lives.
"I have two camps at Rider University. I also started my my first annual camp out in Sacramento this year with all proceeds going to the foundation. We’re going to have some bowling events. Also, we had a Camden Riversharks event that auctioned out jerseys. We had custom made jerseys, my jersey and shoes, their cleats, and all of that went towards the foundation. This year, we’re going to have a book bag and book drive for kids to help out. We’re up and coming, and it’s been really successful."
Now a veteran of the NBA, Thompson has grown both as an influential community leader and athlete. Since his inception into the league, he has helped improve the Kings record season by season.
"I’ve matured as a player, and grown into my body,” said Thompson. "I’m still learning the game because I came from a small school at Rider. I had to learn the pace, but have become more stronger. My jumpshot has become more consistent over the years, and I have become more vocal as well. ”
Since 2008, Thompson has endured four coaching changes. This year, Mike Malone steps into Sacramento to take on the grueling task of helping the Kings win their first NBA Championship in 62 seasons. "It’s tough when we have a different coach and teammates,” says Thompson." There’s different continuity and chemistry. To have a new coach come in and ask us to do things a new way, I hope coach Malone can lead us the right way."
Jason and his foundation believe that small efforts can add up to big changes. It is their responsibility to create changes by providing accessible resources to those who need it most. You can donate to the foundation by visiting http://thejasonthompsonfoundation.com.