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WSU Alumnus Klay Thompson Making Strong Push For NBA Rookie of the Year

Washington State alumnus Klay Thompson has been immersed in the game since he was born, spending much of his childhood in and around the NBA along with his father, Mychal Thompson, the No. 1 overall pick by the Portland Trailblazers in the 1978 NBA draft.

Now as part of the Golden State Warriors, Thompson has been making the most of his time after getting starters minutes with the trade of Monta Ellis, and now is making a strong push for rookie of the year honors with his tremendous play the second half of the season.

Thompson led the Pac-10 last season with 21.6 points per game as a junior at Washington State, alongwith 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Now as part of the Warriors, he's been dropping 18.3 points per game since Ellis went to Milwaukee, shooting 44 percent from the floor and 42 percent from downtown to boot.

He's known to be a quiet guy, causing some to assume that he's a timid ball player. But as head coach Mark Jackson will tell us, it's quite the opposite.

"The guy is not afraid, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "He thinks he's the baddest dude in the gym. He's a silent assassin."

Cleveland's Kyrie Irving is seen as the frontrunner for the award, while Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas (former Washington Husky standout) is also seen as leading candidate. Minnesota's Ricky Rubio was as well, though his season-ending knee injury will likely hinder his chances greatly.

For more on the Warriors head over to Golden State of Mind. For more on the Cougars, check out Coug Center.