Tributes Pour in for Georgetown Coaching Legend Thompson

The man who put Georgetown University basketball on the map and who was known as “Big John” has died.

John Thompson, Jr, coached the Hoyas for 27 seasons taking a less than middling program and turned it into a national power.

Thompson led the Hoyas to three Final Fours in the 1980’s winning a national championship in 1984. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. His players included Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Allen Iverson.

Thompson was the first Black head coach to win a national championship. In 1989, Thompson walked off the court before a game against Boston College to protest Proposition 42, an NCAA policy, because he felt it limited opportunities for minorities.

Thompson played at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington DC in the 1950’s. Carroll’s 1959 team is considered by some to be the greatest high school team in DC history. He played at Providence College where the Friars won the NIT Tournament in 1963 and went to their first ever NCAA Tournament in 1964. He had a brief NBA career backing up all-time great Boston Celtics’ center Bill Russell in the mid 60’s.

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Joe Yasharoff

About Joe Yasharoff

Joe Yasharoff is MCM's Director of Content and Operations. He is also an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Maryland. Previously, Joe was the Managing Editor at NBC Sports Washington and Executive Sports Producer at FOX5 (WTTG-TV). He hosts the MoCo's Most Famous podcast for MCM.

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