Former Boyz GK receives university salute
FORMER Harbour View and Reggae Boyz international Ryan Thompson is beaming with joy after being elected to the University of Tampa's Hall of Fame class of 2022.
The 37-year-old Thompson, who attended the university on a football scholarship, following his departure from Harbour View Football Club, was appreciative of the gesture, which will keep his name forever in the annals of his alma mater.
"Honestly, it's a lot of joy and gratitude. For me, it's one of those things where you came through a university where there were many successful persons before, and there will be many more after, so for me to be in that elite group of persons that will be forever remembered by the university, it shows the body of work and impact that I had on the university. I appreciate it, and I'm very thankful," said Thompson.
Thompson played a total of 57 games while at the University of Tampa and was also named an All-American during his tenure. The highly touted shot stopper labelled the Tampa Spartans as his second home away from Jamaica.
"For me, it's like my second home. It's where I learnt a lot about myself. I remember leaving Jamaica and making that transition to the United States and realising that I had a lot of ability.
"I was in an environment where I was able to socialise with many different cultures, and I was really appreciated. When I went to the University of Tampa, I realised that people actually valued Ryan Thompson and the work I did. I was able to become a better man, a better athlete, and a better person," said Thompson.
The now retired goalkeeper, who has transitioned into coaching, plying his trade as head coach of former USL team Austin Bold FC, thinks the development he received at Harbour View changed his life and groomed him for his current role.
"Just to go to Harbour View was a breath of fresh air. The club gave us a structure that we needed, so I'll be forever grateful to them," Thompson said.
He added that behind the glowing achievements from the University of Tampa, the move wasn't as easy in the initial stage.
"When I made that transition from Harbour View to the University of Tampa, it was initially hard, but I had to make the sacrifice. It was tough but I don't regret one thing, to be honest," he said.