NBA

Klay Thompson’s Parents Passed Down Athleticism and Pride in Their Ethnicity

Klay Thompson might be one of the most famous names in basketball, but many fans don’t know he comes from a family filled with pro athletes. Klay’s father, Mychal Thompson, was famously a member of the Showtime Lakers. And his mother and several siblings are athletes in their right. One thing that connects them as a family is a shared pride in their roots. 

Klay Thompson’s parents

Mychal was born in Nassau, Bahamas, but emigrated to the United States when he was a teen. There, he made waves at Jackson Senior High School. He carved out a standout collegiate career at the University of Minnesota before a 13-year NBA career saw him play for the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. In 1987, Mychal joined the Lakers, where he stayed until his retirement from the NBA in 1991.

According to Heavy, Klay’s mother played many sports before settling down with her family. Julie Thompson was a gymnast and track-and-field star in her younger days, but she also displayed the basketball genes she passed on to her All-Star son. In fact, Klay claims he never beat his mother in sports until he was 14 years old. 

“I couldn’t beat her until I was 14 years old,” Klay said per San Francisco Chronicle. “That was a great moment for me. I remember it like yesterday. She wouldn’t give it to me, I had to earn it, and it took me 14 long years.” Julie and Mychal passed down this passion for sports to their kids. 

Klay and his siblings

NBA fans know what Klay brings to the table. He is one of the best shooters the NBA has ever seen and a three-time NBA champion. However, just because he gets the majority of the headlines doesn’t mean his siblings are not successful, too. Making it into the pros is hard, and the Thompson family is filled with pro athletes. 

The oldest brother, Mychel Thompson, made headlines when he and Steph Curry’s brother, Seth, both played for the Warriors G-League team — a bizarre version of the Splash Brothers. Mychel eventually made it into the NBA for five games with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Klay was proud of his older brother, who won a G-League championship in Santa Cruz. “It goes way deeper basketball,” Klay said per NBA G-League. “He was my best friend growing up. We grew up playing one-on-one against each other.”

Trayce Thompson, the youngest Thompson brother, chose a different sport than his famous family. He took the baseball diamond, playing for UCLA before getting drafted by the Chicago White Sox. Trayce spent two years with the LA Dodgers before splitting time between the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox. He played Spring Training for the Arizona Diamondbacks after spending 2019 in the minor leagues. 

What ethnicity is the Thompson family? 

On Julie’s side, the family has Scottish and English roots. On Mychal’s side, the family shares African and Bahamian heritage. Klay has been particularly outspoken about his Bahamian roots.

When Buddy Hield came into the league and No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton followed, Klay discussed his love for the Bahamas and desire to grow basketball’s presence there. “They just need more organizations as far as grassroots basketball,” he said per San Francisco Chronicle. “But, trust me, there will be more Deandre Aytons and Buddy Hields to come. There’s just too much talent down there.”

Klay was also outspoken about the need for relief in the Bahamas after a Hurricane Dorian ravaged much of the country in 2019. 

From their heritage to their athletic roots, the Thompson family is proud of everything they’ve accomplished. This sense of unity helps bring them closer, but it also tells the world what kind of places the family comes from.