on November 30, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Lions to honor late hoops legend

Lions to honor late hoops legend

Littleton High School will honor the memory of former standout basketball player Brooks Thompson at its home-opening game between the Lions and Kennedy at 4 p.m. Dec. 3.

Thompson, who helped Littleton win the 1987 and 1989 4A state championships, died June 9 at the age of 45 from multiple organ failure.

Thompson’s wife, Michelle, mother Sue, brother Chip and aunt Jan will be at the game for the halftime tribute that will have a commemorative Littleton jersey unveiled.

Ron Vlasin, Thompson’s coach, will take part in the halftime ceremony.

Thompson averaged 28.5 points and nine assists a game as a senior and was the 1989 Colorado High School player of the year.

Thompson played college basketball at Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. He played for four National Basketball Association teams, including the Denver Nuggets, and was head coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio from 2006 until March of 2016.

“It’s a privilege for our team, our school and our whole community to have a chance to honor Brooks Thompson and his family,” said current Lions boys basketball coach Ryan Fletcher. “His contributions as an athlete and person are an inspiration to our current players and the entire Littleton family.”

Running strong

Mountain Vista’s girls cross country team finished second to Broomfield in the Class 5A state cross country meet in October.

However, the Vista girls haven’t stopped running.

Competing under the moniker of the Vista Nation Cross Country Club, the girls captured the Nike Cross National Southwest Regional team title Nov. 19 at Grande Sports Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, and qualified to race in the Nike Cross Nationals Dec. 3 in Portland, Oregon.

Vista Nation beat favored Desert Vista by 12 points in the regionals while Broomfield finished third.

Six of the seven Vista girls who took part in the state meet ran in Arizona, with freshman Sarah O’Sullivan leading the charge. She was 15th overall with a time of 18:17, but was fourth among the runners competing for the team title.

Freshman Jenna Fitzsimmons was seventh and Caroline Eck, recovering from a lower-leg injury, was ninth among the athletes in the team competition.

“Hard to say what our chances are at the nationals with so many great teams,” coach Jonathan Dalby said. “A top-10 finish in the U.S. is certainly a goal. We are super excited for the kids and eager to see how they will do against the nation’s best.

“It would have been easy for them to give in after being second at state, but these are resilient kids.”

Better viewing prediction

I’ve never been one to go out on a limb and make a prediction, but I’m making a bold statement about the Class 5A state championship football game between Pomona and Valor Christian in Denver.

I’m confident that fans will be able to see the numbers on the jerseys of the Valor players, since the Eagles sported new jerseys with distinguishable numbers during their semifinal game against Cherry Creek.

All-State volleyball, gymnastics

CHSAANow.com released its all-state teams for volleyball and gymnastics, which included several area athletes.

Melissa Evans from Highlands Ranch, Rock Canyon’s Skylar Lane, Alyssa Oswald of Mountain Vista and Jasmine Schmidt of Chaparral were named to the Class 5A first team. Evans was tabbed player of the year.

Ali Travis and Sam Weber of Holy Family were first-team 4A selections.

Brooke Weins of Pomona was the Class 5A gymnast of the year and the Panthers’ Tracey Boychuk was coach of the year.

Joining Weins on the first team were Kaylie Berens of Pomona, Lakewood’s Amber Bell and Kesley Boychuk of Pomona.

Rachel Cody of Standley Lake, Camille Dipaola of Green Mountain and Emily Graham of Green Mountain were Class 4A first-team picks. Cody was the 4A gymnast of the year and Green Mountain’s Sandi Peterson the coach of the year.

DU soccer team advances

Three starters on the University of Denver’s men’s soccer team –; which edged Washington 2-1 Nov. 26 during a second-round NCAA tournament playoff game –; graduated from south metro high schools.

Junior midfielder Graham Smith is from Highlands Ranch, redshirt sophomore defender Scott Devoss is from Arapahoe and junior defender AJ Fuller went to Heritage.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 303-566-4083.

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