June 7, 2014
Minnesota senior safety Cedric Thompson received the Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award this morning in Orlando, Fla., at the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention.
The Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award honors student athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.
Thompson, who has emerged as a leader of the defense in the offseason, has started 19 of the 33 career games he has played in. He has three career interceptions, 138 career tackles, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in three years of competition.
Thompson was named Academic All-Big Ten as a sophomore and is majoring in business and marketing education.
His story about how he came to Minnesota is a polarizing one. Thompson grew up around Los Angeles, but moved to a dusty outpost and nearly deserted town called Bombay Beach to live with his dad and avoid trouble. He took two-hour bus rides each way to high school before returning to their one-bedroom home.
Thompson, while in high school, was featured in the documentary Bombay Beach (trailer via YouTube), which won Best Documentary Feature at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. The Star Tribune visited Thompson in Bombay Beach prior to the 2013 season and told his powerful story last July. You can read the story here.
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