A Cowboy Born and Bred: Hunter Thompson Makes It Official -- He's Staying at Wyoming
Two weeks after finalizing a deal to become the head coach of Wyoming basketball, Jeff Linder received his second strong endorsement from a key Cowboy player.
Pine Bluffs native Hunter Thompson tweeted on Monday that he remains committed to Wyoming. Hunter Maldanado, a teammate and close friend of Thompson, issued a similar statement within days of the announcement of Linder's hiring.
Linder, who was the head coach at Northern Colorado the last four years and guided UNC to 20-plus win seasons in each of the last three seasons -- one more 20-win season than Northern Colorado had in its history prior to Linder.
There are indications that sophomores-to-be Kwane Marble II and Kenny Foster are leaning toward remaining at Wyoming, but they have made a statement.
Three Cowboys have registered in the transfer portal -- TJ Taylor prior to the announcement that Allen Edwards was fired, and Greg Milton III and Tyler Mormon, after the hiring of Linder.
Thompson's string of tweets:
Over the past few weeks I have spent time with my family and loved one’s. Despite all the pessimistic attitude towards Wyoming basketball I am happy to announce I am staying home. No matter where I may roam, Wyo will always be home.
I am excited to continue my time at the University of Wyoming under @jefflinder and staff working towards achieving our TEAM goals and my INDIVIDUAL goals. I thank Coach Edwards and his staff for making me a better man than what I was when I came in to the program.
I pray for a healthy and productive season with MASSIVE leaps from myself and teammates. Not a lot of the outside see’s the work we put in but you better believe we are itching to get back and get to work. The MW tournament was a glimpse of the talent we have at Wyoming.
When one door closes another one opens and you never forget the people that helped you get through that next door. Let er Buck boys #Wyomingpride.
Thompson appeared in 23 regular-season games, all starts, for the Cowboys as a redshirt sophomore in 2019-20, starting in 22 of them. He averaged 7.8 points per game, and 3.8 rebounds. He connected on 39 of 104 three-point attempts, creating defensive challenges for visiting teams given his 6-10 height.
In the Mountain West tournament, Thompson was a factor off the bench as the Cowboys, who went 2-16 in regular-season conference play, upset Colorado State and Nevada before losing to eventual tournament champion Utah State, 89-82, in the semi-finals.
Thompson scored two points in the win against CSU, but followed with 14 points against Nevada and 17 points in the loss to Utah State.
After a broken foot led to him being red-shirted as a true freshman, Thompson appeared in 27 games, 22 starts, as a red-shirt freshman in the 2018-19 season. , averaging 8.8 points and 2.9 rebounds. He hit 38 percent of his three-point attempts.
Linder tweeted his obvious excitement about Thompson's decision:.
"(Thompson) will (be) one of the toughest players in college basketball to defend next year!"
Thompson was rated a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star recruit from Rivals and 247 Sports when he came out of Pine Bluffs (Wyo.) High School. He participated in the National Basketball Players Association's Top 100 Camp.
After initially committing to Creighton, Thompson opted instead to stay home and play for the Cowboys.