Cavs forward Thompson says he paid for Kabongo’s Ohio trip

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Independence, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson has claimed he shelled out for University of Texas point guard Myck Kabongo’s trip to Cleveland over the summer.

Thompson, however, said he had nothing to do with personal trainer Jerry Powell working out Kabongo during the visit.

“I actually had to pay for it, but then his brother reimbursed me, which is totally fine by the NCAA,” Thompson said. “I don’t see no eligibility issues, but that’s for the NCAA to figure out.”

Aside from proof that he paid for Kabongo’s trip, Thompson also submitted evidence to the NCAA that the point guard’s brother, Billy, reimbursed him.

“Me and (Kabongo) went to high school together and we’ve been through a lot,” Thompson said. “They (the NCAA) are not knocking the friendship, they understand that. They just want to make sure no outside sources are helping finance that trip.”

The NCAA has been investigating if Cleveland-based agent Rich Paul had a hand in Kabongo’s trip to Cleveland to work out with a professional trainer.

Powell admitted he worked out with Kabongo but denied dealing with Paul, who clarified that he went to Cleveland just to prepare Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for the draft.

“At the end of the day, here’s the main thing, it’s no crime to have a relationship with the kid,” Paul told Yahoo Sports. “Of course I know Myck through Tristan and Cory. I haven’t been contacted by the NCAA and I wouldn’t put a kid in harm’s way.”

Kabongo averaged 9.6 points and 5.2 assists a game for Texas last season.

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