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Whitehall’s Camden Thompson commits to Western Michigan University in football and basketball

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound multi-talented rising senior pledges to Broncos in both sports during official visit Sunday (June 9).

Whitehall rising senior Camden Thompson poses for photos during his official visit to Western Michigan University on Sunday, June 8, 2024, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (Photos courtesy of WMU Athletics)

WHITEHALL — Camden Thompson thrives in any sport he takes up, be it football, basketball, and track and field.

Playing a Division I sport has been Thompson’s dream for a long time. It’s becoming a reality and in two sports, no less, for the 6-foot-5, 195-pound multi-talented rising senior from Whitehall High School.

Thompson committed to Western Michigan University in both football and basketball during his official visit to the Division I school Sunday (June 9) in Kalamazoo. He was expected to announce the news on his social media today (June 11).

“They offered me football and basketball, and that’s something I couldn’t give up,” Thompson said in an exclusive interview with CatchMark SportsNet on Monday. “Just choosing one might limit myself. I feel like choosing both is a good choice for me.

“It was pretty hard (making the decision). I had to take time to talk to my parents, coaches, everyone that’s been really involved in my life, to make sure I make the right decision and make the one that I want to make,” Thompson added. “It took some time — it took some time for sure, but overall I feel amazing about my decision.”

Basketball has been Thompson’s long-time passion, but in recent months his eyes have been opened to his high upside and long-term potential in football.

Thompson has been a mismatch wide receiver, playmaking safety, and naturally talented punter in football for a Vikings program that’s gone 9-0 in each of the last two regular seasons. He’s expected to shift to quarterback for his senior season at Whitehall. He also projects as a tight end at the college level.

“First and foremost, he’s one of the most intense competitors that I’ve had a chance to coach and I really think that that’s what sets him apart,” Whitehall football coach Tony Sigmon said. “You know, he’s not just about competing when the lights are on or when the gym’s full; he loves competing on a daily basis, whether it’s in the weight room or in a pick-up game — it doesn’t really matter — and that’s what’s really special about him.

“He’s a hard worker, he’s supremely talented, and I’m just really excited for him.”

Photos by CatchMark

WMU was Thompson’s first Division I football offer, as that materialized last June. According to 247Sports, he also held D-I football offers from Akron and Marshall as well as offers from Division II powers Ferris State and Grand Valley State.

Like WMU, Ferris State and Grand Valley State offered Thompson to play both football and basketball at their respective schools.

Last June, Thompson received his first D-I basketball offer from Stephen F. Austin, where Whitehall alumnus and former Vikings standout Tony Jasick is associate head coach. Oakland University offered Thompson in basketball and had been seriously recruiting him with at least a couple in-person visits to 2023-24 Whitehall games by Golden Grizzlies head coach Greg Kampe.

Division I Bowling Green, plus Division II Northern Michigan, and Saginaw Valley State, also offered Thompson in basketball.

Thompson comes from a line of athletes in his family. Mother Annette Thompson was an athlete at Grand Valley State. Sister Autumn (Christenson) Holzgen played volleyball at Michigan State, while sister Rayne Thompson is currently playing volleyball at Northern Michigan.

Camden Thompson is an all-around athlete with a good frame and speed, great leaping ability, and superb body control.

“He’s an elite jumper, obviously. He’s got great body control,” Whitehall basketball coach Christian Subdon said. “Everybody sees that in basketball, you’ve seen that this year in football, just flying through the air making miraculous catches. Great hands. Great IQ of the game, too — he does that (in basketball and) in football as well.

“And then people get him in their building and then they really enjoy him there because (even if) he’s not doing the sport but they’re like, ‘This kid’s actually pretty cool.’ He’s a happy-go-lucky kid, not cocky. He just wants to have fun and play sports. He doesn’t even know what his potential is because he’s out there just having fun. I was just so happy to see him light up when he told the (WMU) coaches. It was a pretty special moment for me. I’ve been with him for a long time.”

Subdon was among those who accompanied Thompson on his official visit to WMU.

Thompson is a people pleaser, so making his decision and having to tell others “no” was difficult for him.

“He builds connections with a lot of people. It was a tough decision for sure. It’s been weighing on him,” Subdon said. “The kid’s a team-first player, not a me-first player, so it’s been bothering him that he’s been focused (on recruiting) when he wants to focus on our team so I think it’s just a huge weight off his shoulders.”

Said Thompson: “Really, the culture (at WMU) is great. The coaches are really into it. They’re just themselves and they’re just great toward me and they’re just amazing people.”

In football, Thompson is rated as a three-star prospect, according to 247Sports, which ranks him the No. 51 prospect in Michigan for the class of 2025 and 270th best wide receiver prospect in the nation.

During his 2023 football season, Thompson made 36 receptions for 706 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged nearly 20 yards per catch. On defense, he showed his athletic ability with a 79-yard pick-six.

In basketball, Thompson is Whitehall’s record-holder for career and single-season points. This season, he was an Associated Press Michigan Division 2 first-team all-stater, who averaged 20.7 points, 17.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.9 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game.

Photos by CatchMark

Through his junior year, Thompson already owns Whitehall’s career scoring record for boys with 1,318 points. He’s also the single-season school record-holder for points with 496 as a sophomore. Subdon said Thompson projects for 1,000-plus career rebounds, too.

Thompson’s football teams at Whitehall have gone 9-0 in the regular season each of the last two years. His basketball squad was 22-0 in the 2023-24 regular season. In travel basketball, he plays for the Grand Rapids Storm.

Additionally, Thompson has been regional high jump champion two years in a row. His personal best in the event is 6-foot-7, cleared at the 2022 state finals.

This track season, he dealt with a high-ankle sprain that really limited him. In the the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association meet, he won high jump for a second straight year and also medaled in discus (second) and 110 hurdles — and that was his first day back from a high ankle sprain sufferent five weeks earlier.

Needless to say, Thompson is in very select company.

“Him trying both (football and basketball at WMU), he puts himself in the top 1 percent of probably college athletics. Very few people have the opportunity to do both. Credit him, that’s awesome. That just speaks to the caliber of his athletic ability,” Sigmon said.

“I think when it comes to football and basketball, what he’s been able to do now being able to do both at Western, is really just kind of having the opportunity to pick,” Sigmon continued. “My goal for him was, I didn’t want him to be told what he could do but to be in a position where he gets to choose. And so he was in a position where he got to choose and that’s really exciting.”

Like any standout going from high school to college, Thompson will have to adapt and prove himself all over again.

Subdon believes the ceiling is very high, however, and the opportunities endless.

“I told him this in a meeting we had in the postseason, our postseason meeting, he’s a professional athlete,” Subdon said. “If he wants to play basketball, he’s a professional basketball player. Who knows that is — NBA, overseas, I don’t know, it’s up to him. I think he’s a professional football player, no doubt. They see that at Western.

“I think the sky’s the limit. I’ve said that since he was a freshman and now he’s just living it. He just does things that you or I, or people on the outside see and they’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ And I’m like, ‘I see it every day.’ The dude’s amazing.”

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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