Marcus Capers was up 10-4 on Klay Thompson in a one-on-one game to 11 when his left calf began to cramp. It was a muggy summer evening in 2008 after a two-hour open gym, and Capers — then a freshman guard at Washington State — figured he could score one more point for the right to wear No. 1. Not possible. After Thompson capped a 7-0 run by swishing a turnaround corner 3-pointer, Capers, stunned, pulled aside his new teammate. “No disrespect,” Capers said, “but why are you at Washington State?” Thompson, with his smooth jumper and NBA genes, seemed tailor-made for such basketball powerhouses as UCLA and Arizona — not an overlooked school in rural southeastern Washington. But the Cougars were the only Pac-10 program to offer him a scholarship, and Pullman (2008 population: 27,245) provided an isolated environment to focus on hushing his doubters. During halftime of Saturday afternoon’s game against Oregon State at Beasley Coliseum, Thompson, 29, will become the second player in Washington State history to have his jersey retired. Having No. 1 in the rafters will be as much a reflection of what he has accomplished since leaving Pullman as it is of his three… Read full this story
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