Klay Thompson 'winged' his Washington State jersey retirement speech

Kerith Burke
NBC Sports BayArea

PULLMAN, Wash. -- When Klay Thompson took the microphone for his jersey retirement ceremony at Washington State University, he spoke from the heart. No notecards, no wrinkled piece of paper. Just a smile on his face and the confident words of a man at ease, at home in Pullman.

"Hopefully I'm with the Warriors for the rest of my career, " Klay exclaimed to a crowd of 10,380 at Beasley Coliseum, the largest crowd for a basketball game in the state of Washington since Klay's junior year in 2011. "But I will always be a Coug."

Klay got choked up twice -- when he mentioned his grandpa Jerry, who watched his games "sitting 12 rows up" until his death in 2017, and when he hugged his mother, Julie, after his No. 1 rose to the rafters. 

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He's a natural at public speaking, despite being reluctant to take the mic or be on camera in ordinary circumstances. 

"I winged it," Klay said about his speech. "I knew Public Speaking 102 would come in handy." He paused a beat and added, "I hated that class."

[RELATED: Klay, Steph had a blast in Pullman]

Check out some of the sights and sounds from Klay's ceremony.

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Klay Thompson 'winged' his Washington State jersey retirement speech originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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