USC Men's Basketball

June 11, 2014

USC basketball signee Thompson arrested

South Carolina signee James Thompson was arrested on Tuesday.

South Carolina’s recruiting class might not be complete after all.

Basketball signee James Thompson was arrested Tuesday on charges of aggravated battery and domestic abuse by battery. The Louisiana native, who signed with the Gamecocks at the end of May but hasn’t reported to campus, was released from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Wednesday after posting $10,000 bail.

“We are aware of the serious charges regarding James Thompson and are gathering more information,” a USC athletics department spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will have no further comment at this time.”

Thompson was questioned about a pair of incidents over the past 10 months involving a girlfriend. On Aug. 10, 2013, the victim claimed that Thompson threw a cellphone at her, causing a black eye, and then kicked her while she was on the ground. The two were living together in Thompson’s mother’s apartment at the time.

The victim stated that Thompson had become “angry and jealous” over comments other men made about her on a new Instagram account that she created. The two had a heated verbal dispute that led to Thompson throwing the phone at her, a charge to which he admitted.

The second incident occurred on June 4. The victim claimed that Thompson again became upset over a comment on her Instagram account and punched her in the eye, slapped her face several times and threw things at her. The victim said she had pain and bruises on her chin, leg, eye and the back of her right thigh, and she took pictures of her injuries and presented them as evidence to the police.

Thompson denied hitting the victim on June 4, saying it was a verbal altercation.

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward was recently graduated from Parkview Baptist (La.) School and was listed as the state’s No. 2 recruit for 2014. He turned down hometown LSU, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to play for the Gamecocks.

The rest of the Gamecocks are in Columbia participating in offseason workouts. Thompson wasn’t set to report until the second summer semester. He was the fourth member of USC’s recruiting class.

“James Thompson is a 6-9, long, athletic, rebounding shot-blocker, that we feel is going to be a great addition to our front line,” coach Frank Martin said in a statement when Thompson signed. “He brings the ability to block shots, and that is something added to things that we were missing on last year’s team.”

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