Friar Basketball

A Closer Look: Gianni Thompson

Gianni Thompson Brimmer Brimmer and May School

Prospect: Gianni Thompson

Position: Long Wing/Small Ball 4

High School: Brimmer and May (MA)

AAU Program: Mass Rivals

Class: 2021

Overview: Positional versatility has been a key component of Ed Cooley’s roster building process, and perhaps no Providence recruit in the class of 2021 offers more wing/four flexibility than Gianni Thompson. 

Thompson, who plays for the same Brimmer and May high school and Mass Rivals AAU programs that helped develop AJ Reeves into one of the top shooting guard prospects in the country, flashes moments of eye-popping ability. He will come from out of nowhere for a loud block, finishes over people, and shoots pull back threes with relative ease.

In watching Thompson, it feels like he is just scratching the surface of his potential, “Gianni blocks shots very well off the ball – he’s long with good timing. He has so many offensive tools,” said Brimmer and May head coach Tom Nelson.

“He’s able to shoot, post up, take defenders off the dribble and use pin down screens, as well as flairs to knock down shots. (He has) a little AJ Reeves in him. He’s bigger, so he plays as big wing to the four. His versatility is what everyone is so intrigued about.”

Much of Thompson’s focus over the past two years at Brimmer has been diversifying his offensive game. A particular focal point has been creating shots off of the dribble. He is a good mid-range shooter who is working to shoot with consistency from 23 feet and beyond. 

“We have focused on scoring from anywhere on the court and getting his motor high on defense — erasing shots and using his length to cause havoc on defense,” Nelson said. 

What aspects of the game is Nelson hoping to see Thompson improve upon most over the next 12 months? “Strength and confidence that he is one of the best players in the world. As his motor goes, so too will his overall game. As his confidence blooms, the sky is the limit.”

The 2019-20 season saw Thompson average 19 points and nine rebounds in the competitive NEPSAC Class AA. He scored a season high 35 points against Nobles, 33 versus Cheshire Academy, and played well in Brimmer’s regular season finale against highly-regarded Kyle Filipowski and Wibraham and Monson (24 points, 10 rebounds). Thompson and high-scoring point guard Kyrell Luc (an underrated 2021 prospect who was named AA player of the year this past season) will be one of the best duos in AA next year. 

The Bottom Line: Thompson is very familiar with Providence through both his relationship with Reeves, and the recruitment from assistant coach Brian Blaney. Earlier this month, the Friars were included among his final seven schools — a group that includes Xavier, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Temple, Richmond, and PC. 

“They love his versatility, and ability to play and defend multiple positions.” Nelson said of the schools recruiting Thompson. “His upside is through the roof.”

Thompson stands 6’7 and ¼ without shoes and ideally will guard both forward positions, providing additional shot blocking, and continue to develop into an all-around scorer with range well beyond the arc at the next level. “Early (in his college career) he brings versatility and exuberance, later he brings a guy who you can plug in and insert anywhere on the court to play position-less basketball,” said Nelson.

Thompson is a Boston native (raised in Dorchester) who Nelson describes as easy-going, intelligent, curious about the world, and eager to make himself a great basketball player. 


The full game of Thompson’s 24 point, 10 rebound effort against Wilbraham and Monson Academy is below. Brimmer and WMA went down to the wire in this one. A week later, WMA won the NEPSAC AA title after upsetting Cushing in the semifinals. Filipowski, another PC recruit, has since seen his stock explode, with UCLA and Louisville offering in recent weeks.

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