Ausar and Amen Thompson made history during the 2023 NBA draft by becoming the first siblings selected in the top 10. Amen was selected 4th overall by the Houston Rockets. Picked by the Detroit Pistons barely five minutes later, Ausar became the draft’s 5th overall pick. “Hopefully I get to play him [Amen],” Ausar said on TODAY. “Maybe it’s a rivalry. Hopefully I get to beat him in the championship. It would only be right.”
Ausar and Amen’s father is of Jamaican descent; their mother is African American
Amen and Ausar were born in San Leandro, California, to a father of Jamaican heritage and an African American mother. Troy, Amen and Ausar’s father, grew up alongside three brothers, including Mark Thompson, a hurdler who represented Jamaica at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Maya Wilson, the brother’s mother, prevented them from playing basketball for fear of the game’s extreme physicality. Therefore, Amen and Ausar followed in their older brother’s footsteps, adopting basketball as their sport of choice. Troy told ESPN that he modeled the twin’s training on a model he’d crafted when coaching Troy Jr., the family’s oldest sibling.
“I would drop them off [at their elementary school’s court] like an hour early. When they were little, they’d always want to play one-on-one. I was like, ‘OK guys, you can do your one-on-one. But you got to do these drills first. And then I’d drive away, like I was going away. But I’d watch. And they did it. They did the drills every day before one-on-one.”
As the twins developed, an opportunity to join the venerated Pine Crest school arose. It required the family to relocate from California to Florida, a move Maya opposed. Eventually, she relented. “There is no way I could possibly separate these kids from their dream because of how I’m feeling,” Maya said.
Maya’s sacrifice paid off: her sons were among the first draft picks at the 2023 NBA Draft. “To see them back-to-back, that blows my mind,” Maya told ESPN. “The world is just opening up to them. There’s no limit. So, I’m just very excited about what’s in store – just very, very happy.”