Alexandria’s Treyton Thompson has had his eyes on playing at the highest level of college basketball, and he is making a move he believes will give him the best opportunity to do that.

Thompson, who will be a junior in high school this fall, will transfer from Alexandria to attend school and play his remaining two years of high school basketball at La Lumiere. La Lumiere is a private college preparatory school in La Porte, Ind., located a little over an hour from Chicago in northwest Indiana.

“About a month ago they reached out to me and said that they’d like to have me there and that I should take a visit,” Thompson said in an interview with the Echo Press on Aug. 6. “A couple weeks ago, we took a visit. It’s a really beautiful campus and I know they’re going to push me to be where I want to be, so that’s what I’m going to have to do.”

Thompson called it a “pretty difficult decision” because it means leaving behind friends, family and teammates from Alexandria. The 6-foot, 11-inch forward averaged 15.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Cardinals last winter.

Thompson played his AAU ball with the Howard Pulley 16s this summer, a program on the Nike EYBL circuit that is based out of the Twin Cities area.

Alexandria went 19-9 last winter and was expected to return a solid nucleus this coming year with other returning players like Colton Roderick, Carrson Jones and Kristen Hoskins getting a lot of minutes in the 2018-19 season.

“It’s going to be hard moving on without saying goodbye to everyone and being around them all the time,” Thompson said. “I just want to go where I want to go, and it’s something I have to do.”

La Lumiere was the top-ranked boys basketball team in the country for much of the 2018-19 season, according to the USA Today Super 25 polls. The Lakers finished the year 30-1 overall after losing to IMG Academy in the national championship game.

That La Lumiere team was led by Isaiah Stewart, a center who signed with the University of Washington after being the third-ranked overall player in the 2019 recruiting class, according to ESPN. Stewart chose the Huskies over Duke, Michigan State and Kentucky, among many other offers.

“They got everything I want,” Thompson said of La Lumiere. “They have an awesome weight program. They have one-on-one weight training. They have all you can eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so that’s going to be awesome. They were ranked No. 1 in the nation last year, so I’ll be going into a really good program, and that’s what I want to do.”

La Lumiere has on-campus dormitories for their students, ultimately creating what is similar to an early college living situation.

Thompson leaves for Indiana in the middle of August. He said he chatted with teammates and coaches from Alexandria once his decision was made.

“It wasn’t a happy conversation at all,” he said. “They’re sad that I’m leaving, and I just told them it’s what I have to do, but we’ll still stay in contact and stuff like that.”

Thompson’s goals over the next two years are to continue getting stronger by adding weight and to grow his game overall. He’s confident a school like La Lumiere is the best path to do that. The Lakers play a schedule against teams from across the country, along with offering the facilities and skill development programs Thompson believes can help him reach his highest potential.

“Playing against top-level kids all the time is just going to make my IQ higher,” he said. “It’s going to get me more ready for the next AAU season so I can maybe pick up some more offers. It’s constantly competitive because even in practice I’m playing against some of the top players in the nation.”

Thompson’s college offer list includes four schools from major conferences in Texas Tech, Minnesota, Iowa and Oklahoma. The Gophers coaching staff offered Thompson in June, and he says even with the move that they will continue to be a school he looks at hard as his recruitment continues in the coming months.

“Minnesota will always be home. I’ll always have a connection to them,” Thompson said. “They’re always going to be in my top five probably, because that’s home. I might want to rep my home (state) when I get out of high school.”