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SBLive's 2021-22 Washington high school girls state basketball player of the year: A late bloomer, Woodinville's Tatum Thompson takes charge at right time

After a pandemic-period growth spurt, Thompson became a tall order for defenses - and is headed off to play at Boise State University

For the girl who was constantly late for early-career AAU practice - Tatum Thompson arrived just in time for the Woodinville High School girls basketball team.

The 6-foot-1 Boise State University signee, who was recently named "Miss Basketball" by the Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association, was the do-everything playmaker that led the Falcons to their first Class 4A championship.

She averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting 56.7 percent from the floor, and 85.6 percent from the free-throw line.

Oh yeah, in Thompson's three years as a varsity starter, Woodinville lost just two games.

"Tatum plays by total feel," Falcons girls coach Scott Bullock said.

This winter, she teamed up with point guard Veronica Sheffey as arguably the best-chemistry duo in the state.

Tatum Thompson, Woodinville girls basketball, class of 2022

But Thompson wasn't a standout right out of the gate when she started in AAU basketball in seventh grade, then joined Barbara Berry's "The Way to Win" program a year later.

"I had a lot of maturing to do," Thompson said.

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She didn't hit her stride until the middle of her sophomore season when she posted her first 20-point game against Kentridge.

"From then on, I realized I could do this," she said.

And then she grew - a lot. And while more than a few coaches saw her potentially playing near the basketball, Bullock "saw my potential as a guard, and he knew how to use me in that position," Thompson said.

Thompson scored 26 points in the Falcons' state semifinal win over Eastlake, then had 21 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and a key go-ahead last-minute jump shot in the 4A title game against Sumner.

"It feels like I completed the journey," Thompson said.

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(Featured photo by Vince Miller)