When Basketball is More than Just Basketball
Learn how Head Men’s Basketball Coach Warren Thompson, a former NYPD detective, is grooming his ‘good young men to leave as better young men’ and why he takes a unique approach to the game.
On a sunny August day, Bronx Community College’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach Warren Thompson and Assistant Coach Andre Scott are outside on the track with their team conditioning for the season ahead. “We’re on lap 19,” one team member shouts as he and his fellow players come around the corner together in one pack. “I don’t believe you,” Andre says.
Now in Year Two as Head Coach, Thompson says the five miles the team is running really isn’t about the running. “It’s about them bonding as a team,” Thompson remarks. “Just over a month ago, many of these players didn’t know each other. Now, they’re talking smack about one another, fist-bumping, etc. They show up on Mondays talking about how they played basketball together over the weekend.”
Thompson has spent his last 15 years at BCC – first as a volunteer in Athletics, then as a College Assistant for 13 years. Prior to that, he was a NYPD detective for 25 years, covering BCC’s precinct and working with youth. His familiarity with this age group and the Bronx community is evident.
“We take a unique approach. We would love to win, but our primary goal is to increase the number of student athletes who walk across the stage at graduation,” Thompson says. “We are a microcosm of the Bronx community at large. Our players get to leave the stresses of their home environments to come here and decompress. This is a safe haven. This is where they want to be.”
Thompson adds, “I know this may sound cliché, but I always think of the quote from Dr. Seuss, ‘We are here! We are here! We are here!’ The kids want to know that the campus has their back. We’re looking to change the mindset of our fans, hoping that more fans will show up for games this coming season. Most of all, our mission is to ensure that these good young men leave BCC as better young men.”