Where is Garde Thompson when you need him?

Submitted by UNCWolverine on December 20th, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Growing up a Michigan fan I was excited when a family friend, Garde Thompson, chose to play at Michigan coming off a stellar career at East Grand Rapids (East Great Falls for you American Pie fans). Garde finished as the runner-up to Antoine Joubert for Mr. Basketball in 1983, two spots ahead of Dan Majerle by the way.

Being 10 years old it I was thrilled to be able to periodically sit in his great family/friends seats in the blue section, meet the players after the games (Roy Tarpley, Gary Grant, etc.) and spend time with Garde and his family in general. We used to even get the hand me down boxes of clothing from Garde's mother which I thought was really cool.

Garde had a pretty successful career at Michigan, eventually earning a starting spot in Michigan's 3 guard offense his senior year alongside Grant and Joubert. Garde's best attribute was that he could flat-out shoot the rock. I recall one game Garde was 8-9 from the 3pt line. He also shot 9-12 from behind the arc in David Robinson's last college game in the NCAA tournament. In fact Garde's 33 point coupled with Robinson's 50 put then 4th all-time in "Most Points by Two Opposing Players" in NCAA tourney history.


Garde also holds the Michigan all-time record for career 3pt shooting percentage at 48.08%


Boy we could really use a guy like Garde Thompson in Beilein's system. Can you imagine how much better this team would be if anyone could get anywhere near that number over a season, let alone a career?



December 20th, 2009 at 3:27 PM ^

I'll take Glen Rice along with Thompson. His career 3-pt % was .480, the highest for any UM basketballer making at least one 3-pointer per game, and his overall FG % was .569, which puts him in third place all-time for UM. The two guys ahead of Rice in overall FG% are Webber and Ron Kramer, both of whom had only half or less the number of attempts that Rice had. If Beilein had two guys like Rice and Thompson on the squad, we'd have 4 more wins easily.

It would be especially nice to have a Rice around at tournament time. He still holds the NCAA tournament record for most points, most field goals and most 3-pointers in a single year's tournament.


December 20th, 2009 at 4:43 PM ^

.....is the last home game for Thompson and Joubert; it was against Purdue. Joubert had the green light for the first time in his entire career and scored around forty. Late in the game, which was a rout, Thompson got the ball on a fast break jumped a lot higher than people used to give him credit for, and did a perfect Michael Jordan finger roll for an easy bucket. He looked so much like a small, pigmentally-challanged MJ that the crowd went absolutely nuts after a split-second pause to process disbelief.

Back to Joubert, I remember that game and want to cry about what might have been if Joubert had had the green light for the other four years minus one game of his career. Instead, he would usually get the ball in his natural zone, remember that he wasn't supposed to shoot from that far out, fake, drive, and miss a short jumper. Frieder's penchant for "overcoaching" would become obvious when Fisher won the NCAA's with his players by getting out of their way, but it sure was evident to me that day.


December 20th, 2009 at 5:58 PM ^

It seems that Garde Thompson was an underrated athlete. I've seen some ESPN Classic clips from that era where he dunked. (Maybe I was confusing him with someone else.)

Frieder sounds like an uptight guy. He might have been better as an assistant coach.

Joubert? I'm just not seeing it. I think he played overseas for a few years after Michigan. I'm not sure he was even drafted. I have to believe that any hidden talents would have surfaced at some point and caught the attention of the NBA. My guess is that he was a man among boys in high school and that (with a few exceptions) he didn't have much of a margin to work with in college (a la Jimmy King and Kelvin Torbert years later).


December 20th, 2009 at 5:27 PM ^

I was 7 years behind Garde at EGR, 3 years behind his younger brother Charley, played with his cousins (I should say they played, I warmed the bench).

Garde was unbelievable in HS, and those of us who had seen him play earlier in his career were utterly unsurprised when he went off against Navy. He was a scoring machine in HS. Former Izzo assistant and current Utah coach Jimmy Boylen played on that same EGR team.

His hops weren't the stuff of legend, but Garde could get up - he had no problems dunking at 6'1".

UNC Wolverine - are you an EGR grad? I'm class of 1990.