ABOVE PHOTO: Jason Thompson
By Kharisma McIlwaine
New Jersey native Jason Thompson has always been dedicated to finding new ways to give back to the community. Health and wellness are at the center of his most recent efforts to give back.
On April 14, Thompson celebrated the unofficial launch and ribbon cutting for his newest venture, Hydrate IV Therapy and Wellness in Sewell, New Jersey. Thompson takes on the role of co-CEO alongside LaNette Keeton, a specialist in IV therapy and fusions. Thompson spoke with the SUN about the journey that led to opening Hydrate IV Therapy and Wellness and how he hopes that access to hydration will be beneficial to the residents of New Jersey.
Born and raised in South Jersey, Thompson always had a knack for sports — playing soccer, football, track and basketball. His love for basketball, however, won his heart.
“Right around middle school, I wanted to just focus on basketball. It was do your homework and then just go to the closest gym to go play,” Thompson said. “It was playing pick-up with friends and older guys and then knowing how to work on your game. I didn’t really want to get dressed up for school, so it was the snap-away pants and the swishies… I was just the ultimate jock. I would wake up to watch Comcast sports to see what was going on with the Eagles, Sixers and the other teams.”
Thompson experienced a lot of success in basketball. He signed a letter of intent for Rider University before getting drafted in the 2008 NBA draft.
“I mean especially just being from this area, not too many guys have those situations happen for them,” he said. “I was in an era of the Dajuan Wagners of the world — Camden High School’s number one player in the country. I was a guy that was 6’8 that was recruited by some of the lower major schools, then mid major schools. I came in at 6’8, 190 and then graduated at 6’11 250. I became the ultimate prospect and was able to change my ways and give myself a shot. On June 26, 2008, I didn’t go to the draft. I was at home with Comcast, NBA TV and ESPN and that could be the gift and the curse. It was a really long day and then we find out just like the world does. So, then David Stern comes on there and goes with the 12th pick the Sacramento Kings select Jason, and I just didn’t know how to react. I hugged my brother, my family was screaming and then I go outside and the whole neighborhood is going crazy too. So, it’s just a dream come true and a lot of love from all the people that gave me love through the years.”
Thompson went on to play for the Sacramento Kings for eight years and overseas in Europe for five years, for a total of 13 years in professional basketball. Then, in a full circle moment, Thompson returned to Rider University on the other side of the court as part of the coaching staff for the men’s basketball team.
“It’s a blessing! Everything happens in full circle,” he said. “I think that if you asked me what I would be doing after my playing career, during my fourth year in the league I don’t think coaching would be part of it, but time changes things. I have a practice facility and lockers named after me at the school, so I just thought it was a good fit. My training for next upcoming season would be there, too, and I knew all the players and all the coaches. It was an easy transition for me to be very familiar with everything that goes on over there and help the guys out on and off the court as much as I can.”
“I think coaching was my calling,” Thompson said. “I feel like I could still play, but, you know, the passion just felt like it really wasn’t there as much as it was throughout my career and in my prime. I just thought that it was time to change and move on to the next chapter. I wanted to be able to give the knowledge that I know to help these guys be able to achieve their goals in college and then become professionals. I’ve been able to play at every level — in college and in the NBA in the biggest of games. I also played in the highest leagues in the EuroLeague in Europe. I’ve done it all and played on the best team in the NBA and in Europe so, I feel like if anyone has a knowledge of that it would be myself.”
Now Thompson is using the knowledge he acquired during his time playing professionally to expose more people to the benefits of IV infusions.
“My mother has been in the medical field even before I was born (she still is in the medical field),” he said. “If I ever had anything that was going on with me, I would go right to her. Also, the person that I teamed up with to co-CEO had a hydration center in Arizona. They pitched it to me, and I kind of already knew part of it from using it as an athlete, when we would have a lot of games during the week and I needed an IV. Then I was right back to normal, like nothing had happened. It’s not just for athletes — it’s for the elderly and it’s for dehydration. It checks all the boxes of things that I’m very familiar with, so I’m really excited about the opportunity and being able to give back to an area that helped me achieve my goals.”
Hydrate IV Therapy & Wellness offers a wide array of infusions and services that are customized based on the needs of clients. All sessions have medical personnel on standby as a precaution.
“It’s a long list, but I try to narrow it down and tell people B12s, vitamin B and vitamin C and D and all those things that you need to put into your body,” Thompson said. “Then, we do an assessment of the person of how they’re feeling and if they’re allergic to anything. Then we’re able to add certain things that can help them not just that day, but, you know, for the week and in the weeks to go. We also preach on keeping it consistent. It’s an easy process, and we educate people on how it helps because a lot of people may not be familiar with it — it’s new to a lot of people. It’s a family atmosphere, and we have our grand opening on May 20, opening the doors to the community.”
Hydrate IV Therapy and Wellness is located at 508 Hurffville-Cross Keys Rd Suite #16 in Sewell, New Jersey, which is about 18 miles from Philadelphia. For more information, visit: https://hydrateivtherapynj.com and follow them across social media platforms @hydrateivnj. Also, be sure to follow Jason Thompson’s personal page @jtthekid on IG.
Disclaimer: This clinic and/or the advice offered in this article is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this article is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified doctor or specialist, or in an emergency, dial 911. This article, its author, the newspaper and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.
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