Last summer, Thompson and two of his friends were walking home from the gym when they were struck by a drunk driver.
After being transported to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma, doctors gave Thompson less than a 50% chance of fully recovering. He had sustained a head injury that would require multiple surgeries and physical therapy.
Thompson wasn’t the only one hit by the car that night. Reggie Smith, Aldine Senior High School junior, was also struck by the car. Smith, his teammate and childhood friend, was also injured. Although Smith’s injuries were not as critical as Thompson’s, he still required hospital care. As soon as Smith was released from the hospital, he was by Thompson’s side.
“I would visit Clyde in the hospital, talk to him and pray for him to recover,” Smith said. “I just wanted him to be okay.”
The two have been best friends since elementary school, they live in the same apartment complex and play basketball together at school. They are more than teammates. They are brothers.
“I think my family, friends and teammates kept me going when I was in the hospital,” Thompson said.
After waking up in the hospital, Thompson’s mother and his doctors explained to him that he had been struck by a car. Thompson does not remember much after beginning the walk home that evening but he did remember his love for basketball. One of the first questions he asked his mom was, “Will I be able to play basketball this year?”
Thompson’s mom contacted Aldine Senior High School Varsity Basketball Coach Ronald Jones to inform him that Thompson was concerned about his spot on the team. Jones explained that he knew Thompson was passionate about the sport. His response to the question was, if he focused on getting healthy, a uniform would waiting for him.
“My main concern was making sure Clyde was mentally and physically ready to come back to the basketball court,” Jones said.
On January 3, Thompson was cleared to play basketball again.
During the Aldine Senior High School vs. Spring High School basketball game, he was open for a shot and scored a 3-pointer. Thompson received a standing ovation.
“That moment was emotional for all of us,” Jones said. “I think it made everyone on the team play even harder the rest of the game.”
Thompson is happy to be back on the basketball court with his teammates and playing the sport he loves.
“I’ve learned not to take anything for granted,” Thompson said. “I am proof that you can not let obstacles you are facing stop you from pushing forward.”
Thompson plans on studying to be an athletic trainer after graduation. He wants to stay close to sports but also help others who share his passion for the game.