A good athlete with a strong arm, Buck Thompson never dreamed about the Super Bowl or World Series.
"When the Olympics came on, it was sit down and be quiet," said Thompson. "There was something about track that got us going."
After becoming a state shot put champion at Winona High School in 2008, Thompson disappeared from track and field.
"I was helping kids on the side," said Thompson. "I wasn't even working out. I really thought I was out of it honestly."
Home sick after one year at Northwestern State in Louisiana, Thompson returned to East Texas quitting the sport he loved. Two years went by without a workout. Thompson finally accepted an invite at UT Tyler.
"I knew what I was capable of doing," said Thompson. "When it wasn't happening right off the bat, I was saying 'You have to work harder for this.' I got into it. These past two years we've really busted it."
Making up for lost time, the 23 year old junior has broken the UT Tyler school record in the shot put and discus throw. His discus throw of 55.22 meters is the longest throw this year in the NCAA Division III.
"I want to be with the top of Division I kids," said Thompson. "We really talk about that a lot. Hitting over 200 feet is our main goal."
Thompson is thinking big. US Olympic team big. With continued improvement, his coaches believe he has a real shot.
Despite losing two years of his career, Thompson doesn't regret his path to UT Tyler.
"Everything happens for a reason," said Thompson. "It (time off) helped me mature more. The love for the sport has come on even more since I just had to watch for two years. I don't want to ever get that feeling of missing it again.
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