After the death of former Oklahoma State basketball standout and 1994 first-round draft pick Brooks Thompson, former OSU player Brian Montonati (1998-2000), who played under Brooks when he was an assistant coach under Eddie Sutton, and former OSU head coach Sean Sutton (2006-2008), who played with Thompson, spoke out about the passing of their friend.
"It's shocking,” said Montonati. “It's still hard to resonate, and a lot of us have been at a loss for words. We know he's been battling his illness for the past few months, but to get the call last night and try to put things into perspective is hard. Being 45 years old and being a family man, having three little girls and his wife Michelle, it's just hard considering the type of guy Brooks was. He was a standup guy. [He created a] lot of successful basketball, but my fondest memories of Brooks [were] as a person."
The loss was hard for Sutton to fathom as well.
"He's very popular among OSU fans for what he did to that school,” Sutton stated. “It's a sad situation; I'm going to miss him. To see someone pass away at such a young age, I'd hope there would be some sort of miracle but it wasn't to be. [It’s] going to be tough, but I know he's in a better place. He'll be missed. He was special to a lot of people and he left a lasting impact on this world. [He] certainly was a great friend to many, and we'll all miss him a lot."
Montonati described Thompson as a life-long friend who people could always talk to and be open and honest with. He also joked that Brooks was cocky, but a good man.
“He was the ultimate competitor,” Montonati recalled. “In fact, I told my nine-year-old son this. There was a team he brought up to Tulsa a couple years back and they were pretty much depleted. No one really gave them a chance to compete and just to watch him on the sidelines, watch how he coached his team, the biggest thing I take away from Brooks is that he's a fighter. He's a very compassionate person."
Sutton added that Thompson was one of the fieriest competitors he’d ever been around.
“[He] hated to lose. I remember one year he was red-shirting, my senior year, and we were number two in the country and Randy Rutherford and Brooks Thompson and Scott Sutton were all redshirting that year and normally we won, but one time they beat us in a scrimmage and Brooks made the comment, ‘I guess that makes us number one in the country.’ He loved to win."
In 1993 and 1994, Thompson earned back-to-back All-Big Eight selections.
Following his stint in the NBA, he returned to Stillwater as an assistant coach on the Cowboys staff.
He later took over UTSA’s program where he spent ten seasons, wrapping with a 133-178 record.