Thompson excited for challenge as new Cape hoop coach

Shemik Thompson addresses current and prospective players and their families during Monday night’s meet and greet at Cape Henlopen High. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

LEWES — It’s always bigger than basketball.

That’s just one of the many messages newly-hired Cape Henlopen High coach Shemik Thompson wants his players to learn as he takes over the reins of the boys’ basketball program at his alma mater this year.

The Thompson hire was officially approved during the June 11 Cape Henlopen School District board meeting.

“I’m really excited about it. Coach [Dwight] Tingle (former Cape basketball coach), when I first met him in 2003 or 2004, he’d pick me up and bring me to workouts,” Thompson said.

“He always said, ‘give back,’ and to come back and be in position to run this program and build off of prior players and coaching legacies is a real honor for me.”

Thompson replaces Stephen Re, who resigned from the position in March after eight seasons with the program.

Shemik Thompson played four seasons of Division I basketball with Central Connecticut State. Submitted photo

Re coached the Vikings to seven DIAA tournament appearances, which began in 2011. The Vikings went 97-63 (5-7 in the state tourney) during that span, the eight-win 2018-19 campaign his only year missing the playoffs.

Tingle, Thompson’s former coach, coached Cape for eight seasons prior to Re.

Thompson met with current and prospective players and their families inside the theatre of the high school for 15-20 minutes Monday night to officially introduce himself and answer questions regarding the program.

After graduating from Cape in 2007, Thompson went on to play four seasons of Division I basketball at Central Connecticut State University.

He played 116 games at guard, averaging 11.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He averaged 12.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 31 games as a senior during the 2010-11 campaign.

Thompson hopes to translate much of what he learned during his playing career as coach.

“When I was playing, I didn’t really reflect on much of anything, but afterwards I definitely reflected on everything from how plays were ran, how games were managed, the coaching styles, to things we did in practice that were great and things I didn’t think were that great,” he said.

Shemik Thompson opened his own law practice in Charlotte this past February, but will be returning home to the Cape area in September. Submitted photo

Thompson went to law school and eventually moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to become a lawyer.

He’s been gone five years, but starting Sept. 1 he will be back in town and is excited to get to work with his Cape boys and practice family law in the Cape area.

“I had actually started my own practice (Thompson Law PLLC) in February, but when this job opened up I kind of just pounced on it,” he said. “I’ll be slowing my practice down there, I’ll go to inactive status, and I’ll be sitting for the bar in July here in Delaware.”

Prior to leaving for Charlotte, Thompson spent two years as an assistant coach for Cape.

He hopes to bring a fun, high-scoring style of play to the program.

“When these kids see things work, it makes them excited to see things work again or excited to see the next thing that’s going to work,” he said. “That will be my challenge, to create those scenarios to put them in positions to score and have fun night in and night out. That’s a challenge for me and I’m looking forward to it.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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