By Chris Widlic
ZIONSVILLE, Ind. – Zionsville junior guard Isaiah Thompson and older brother P.J., Purdue’s senior starting point guard, are proving sibling rivalry can be a good thing.
Despite their busy schedules, they try to see each other play in person as much as they can. They play against each other as much as they can, but because of the age difference, have never been able to play on the same team.
“We always wanted to play with each other in high school,” said Isaiah. “He wishes he could have a fifth year or redshirt year to play with me in college, but we wish we played with each other.”
“It’s competitive now,” said P.J. “He’s getting old now, and I can’t take it easy on him anymore. We played one-on-one the other day, he was up 13-3 early, but I beat him!”
Isaiah is also Purdue bound, committing to Matt Painter and the Boilermakers earlier this week. He’s got a Boilermaker role model to live up to now.
“He’s a great player,” Isaiah said of his older brother. ”One of the best leaders in the country and one of the most under-rated point guards. I’ve idolized him all my life. He’s the person I want to be like.”
P.J. shares to admiration of his little brother. “I love his game. I’m a big fan. He has the potential to be the best player out of everyone in our family. It’ll be fun to watch the rest of his high school career then college because he’s going to have a good one.”
The brothers grew up with basketball. Their dad, LaSalle, played college ball at Indiana State and Ball State, then professionally in Europe.
“We were in the gym since we were little kids running around. We fell in love with the game of basketball and worked really hard to be where we’re at today. And that is leading their respective teams to what looks like will be long post-season runs.”