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Barton Basketball’s Myles Thompson Named NJCAA Foundation Champion Award Winner


Charlotte, NC ( – The NJCAA Foundation has announced the 2024 Champion Award recipient will be Barton Community College men’s basketball player, Myles Thompson. This prestigious award will be presented during the NJCAA Foundation Awards event held on Thursday, June 6 at the Hilton Charlotte University Place at 6:30 PM ET. The event will recognize the NJCAA Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year, the Lea Plarski Award winner, the Champion Award winners, and the Difference Maker Award winner, in addition to the 2024 class of the NJCAA Hall of Fame. 

The Champion Award was established to honor a member or former member of the NJCAA community who exemplifies resilience, excellence, and passion.   


Myles Thompson began his collegiate career at Barton Community College (KS) where, as a freshman, averaged 7.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. Entering his sophomore season, he thought it would be like any other year. Thompson, a 6-foot-7 Hutchinson native, played basketball his whole life and was never once worried or concerned about injury or illness. However, things took a turn six weeks before the start of his sophomore season when he fell ill. Receiving medication for a cough and fever, Thompson thought he was back on his way to Barton for a second season, but a week later, he was sick again with all symptoms returning and pain in his right ankle. After experiencing severe rigors and shaking chills, Thompson was hospitalized for 20 days, during which doctors continuously tried to figure out what was going on, and his future in basketball was in question. It was found that Thompson had a blood infection and required surgery on his leg. The surgery was a success and Thompson was headed towards recovery but the question of if and when he’d ever be able to return to basketball was still looming.  

After surgery, he returned home to Hutchinson and required daily antibiotics for six weeks. Thompson attempted to return to school but due to his compromised immune system,contracted clostridium difficile and was bedridden for an additional three weeks. Thompson struggled during this time,losing 20 pounds along the way and still being unsure of his athletic future. Through countless physical therapy sessions and a daily regimen of four different antibiotics, Thompson recovered and returned to practice in February 2023.  

Rededicating his time and efforts to basketball, Thompson began to work out and train with his former high school coach, Bryan Miller. He would wake up early to work out with the high school players in the morning and then lift weights and practice his shots in the evening. Thompson’s constant efforts and determination allowed him to step back onto the court at Barton for the 2023-24 season. Through his resilience, character, and faith, Thompson was able to help lead the Cougars to the 2024 NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship title. This past season, Thompson started in all 37 games for the Cougars, averaging 14.0 points per game with 6.7 rebounds.  

Thompson serves as a beacon of inspiration, motivating student-athletes around the world to never give up on their dreams, reminding them that regardless of the circumstances, anything is attainable. The resilience and determination displayed while overcoming challenges is what ultimately shapes the eventual outcome. 

To see the members of the 2024 class of the NJCAA Hall of Fame, visit: 2024 NJCAA Hall of Fame inductees announced

To learn more regarding the NJCAA Foundation Awards event, visit: NJCAA Foundation Awards