Cougars' star Klay Thompson arrested, charged with marijuana possession
Washington State's star basketball player Klay Thompson was arrested Thursday night in Pullman for investigation of marijuana possession. Thompson has been suspended for the Cougars' game Saturday against UCLA.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The father of arrested Washington State basketball standout Klay Thompson said Friday morning he felt like he "had just got hit in the gut by a Manny Pacquiao left hook" after his son called to inform him he had been arrested Thursday night in Pullman for marijuana possession.
Thompson, WSU's leader in scoring and assists, has been suspended for Saturday's game against UCLA.
A Pullman police officer stopped Thompson for a reported headlight out and smelled the odor of marijuana in the car. Thompson denied having the drug, and after a search warrant was obtained, the vehicle was impounded and 1.95 grams of marijuana was found.
Thompson scored 22 points in WSU's 85-77 victory over USC on Thursday night, which ended about two hours before his arrest.
WSU issued a statement at about 9:30 a.m. Friday that Thompson would be suspended for the key game against the Bruins, and quoting coach Ken Bone that "the situation will continue to be evaluated through the weekend."
Mychal Thompson, his father, was the first pick in the 1978 NBA draft and a longtime NBA forward. Asked what he told his son, he said, "The fact I'm extremely disappointed in him, obviously. I told him, 'Klay, we've all been there, we've all been to college, and had friends and teammates who smoked dope.'
"I've been in that situation many, many times and chose not to do it. You've got to be better than that, you've got to be smarter. I told him I was extremely disappointed in him. He let the team down, he let the school down and he let himself and his family down.
"I'm at a loss for words."
Thompson's arrest comes at a time when the Cougars (19-10) are trying to make a late push for the NCAA tournament. Not only is Thompson out for Saturday's game, the availability of point guard Reggie Moore is in doubt after he sprained an ankle Thursday night against USC.
"I'm so ticked off at him, I told him he needs to think about getting his degree and finishing up," said the senior Thompson, who added he believes Klay has more than a year of work to graduate. " 'You've got a lot of amends to make.' That's what I think. He's supposed to be the leader of this team, and they depend on him, and he does something stupid like this. I told him, 'Doing something like this shows how irresponsible you are.'
"There's no excuse for it."
Thompson, father of three college-age athletes — his son Mychel is a basketball player at Pepperdine — said he has had talks with all his sons on the risks involved "every time an athlete screws up."
"I tell them all the time about guys doing it (smoking) in front of me," Mychal Thompson said. "They know a lot about my stories. You can't be naive about it, act like it doesn't happen. You're going to be around people who do it and you just have to tell them, 'I don't need that.'
"You've got to be strong and realize it's not worth risking your reputation."
Asked if there had been frustrations with the season that could have contributed to Thompson's marijuana use, Mychal Thompson said, "What's their record, 19-10? I don't care if they're 0-29. There's no reason for doing it."
Earlier this season, Moore was charged with marijuana possession in a case in which the drug was found while he wasn't in his dormitory room. Weeks later, after Bone said he sorted out details, Moore was suspended for one game.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff reporter Susan Gilmore contributed to this article.