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Thompson twins make history, go back-to-back in top 5 of NBA Draft

The Houston Rockets picked Amen Thompson with the No. 4 slot in the NBA Draft and the Detroit Pistons picked Ausar Thompson at No. 5.
Thompson twins make history, go back-to-back in top 5 of NBA Draft
Posted at 6:06 AM, Jun 23, 2023

Amen and Ausar Thompson have literally known each other since before they were born. Amen Thompson was born just one minute before Ausar. So it was only fitting that minutes after Amen Thompson was selected No. 4 overall in the NBA Draft, Ausar Thompson would go No. 5. 

Amen was picked up on Thursday by the Houston Rockets. Minutes later, the Detroit Pistons selected Thompson with their pick. Together, the 20-year-olds became the first brother duo to go in the top 5 of an NBA Draft. 

"I think it's kind of cool going first," Amen Thompson said. "It means a lot to my family. Me and Ausar, we were going to be happy whoever went first. But it means a lot to my family seeing all the hard work pay off. Us go back-to-back, be the first twins in the same draft to go top five, it means a lot."

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Rather than going the collegiate route after high school, the Thompsons were teammates in the Overtime Elite league, which is a professional basketball league for 16-20 year olds. The duo led the City Reapers to this year's title. 

The draft meant the two brothers will not be teammates for the first time in their careers. 

"I feel like we're going to adapt," Ausar Thompson said. "It may be a little hard, but I think he's going to be fine. I know I'm going to be fine. I'll FaceTime him."

Amen Thompson said they have gotten to do a number of endorsement deals together. They knew they would be drafted early, but had no clue they would go back-to-back.

"It was weird, we never really talked about going back to back. We just talked about both being top 10. I never really thought about it, but it's cool that that's how it ended up being the way it happened," Amen Thompson said. 

Jay Bilas, an ESPN basketball analyst, explained how the Thompsons are both alike and different in their play. 

"The Thompson twins are both really talented and can absolutely play. They’re just not really good shooters," Bilas said. "Amen Thompson is probably the better offensive player I would say, but Ausar Thompson is an outstanding defender, and that’s going to mean a lot in the NBA because he’s so versatile and athletic, and he’s a really, really hard worker."

The two also had an older brother, Troy Jr., play in the NBA developmental G League for the Stockton King after playing at the collegiate level for Prairie View A&M. Their uncle Mark Thompson was a Jamaican Olympian in the 400 meter hurdles.

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