Basketball

Klay Thompson talks about CR basketball and Coach Tregs to national media

By Ray Hamill — NBA star Klay Thompson talked about legendary North Coast basketball coach Bill Treglown to a gathering of national media over the weekend.

While answering questions about his rehab from a torn right Achilles tendon, Thompson spoke of a letter he received in regard to Coach Tregs and how it was “one of the greatest things I’ve read in a long time.”

“It was incredible,” Thompson said. “It made me realize why I get to do what I do.”

While acknowledging that 2020 was “the worst year of my life,” the Golden State Warriors star, who is a three-time NBA champion, talked glowingly about receiving the letter from former Eureka and CR player Jeff Bird, who played for Treglown in the early 2000s.

Treglown won more than 500 games over a 33-year career at CR, before passing away in 2005, and is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in North Coast basketball history.

“(Bird) and his teammates from community college ball still have a group chat, still talk to each other, and they bonded over our style of play starting with the 2015 championship run,” Thompson told the national media. “He said how much Coach Treglown would love to watch our team play.

“He said we were the example of just ball movement, player movement, great coaching, everybody buying in, and just to get that email from Jeff and hear how he knows that would make his old coach feel good about watching us play, that made me feel real good.

“Because when you play at the community college level you’ve got to love basketball, and for a coach to give his time and preach the same values that Coach (Steve) Kerr did, I thought that was really special.

“That meant a lot to me, because I know we had a great influence, but you just never who’s watching, and that was cool.”

Anyone who remembers Coach Tregs and the massive influence he had on local basketball for decades knows he would indeed have loved the way the Warriors play.

“To see an NBA star talking about Coach Tregs, that put a smile on everybody’s faces around here,” current CR head coach Ryan Bisio said.

Tregs also no doubt would have appreciated Bisio’s team’s exciting style of play and how the Corsairs have captured the imagination of the local community in recent times.

“A lot of people have told me Tregs would be so happy to see what our guys are doing,” Bisio said. “Especially the packed gyms. That would make him smile.”

Thompson was speaking to the media for the first time since suffering the injury in November, and this is the second straight season of rehab for the NBA star after previously tearing his left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

He is hoping to be ready for the start of next season.

In other CR news, the team also recently felt a special bond while watching the Netflix special “Last Chance U,” which chronicles the 2019/20 season for East LA Community College and JC basketball in California.

The series includes the East LA players talking about City College of San Francisco and Santa Rosa JC, two teams Redwoods played.

“We beat Santa Rosa,” Bisio said. “When we watched (the series), we felt we were a part of that season. It’s a compelling documentary.”

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