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Mon Aug 31, 2020, 09:36 AM

Legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. dies at age 78

Source: ESPN.com

Legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., known simply as "Big John" throughout college basketball, has died at age 78.

Thompson, who led Georgetown to the 1984 national championship, built the program into a juggernaut, taking the Hoyas to three Final Fours in the 1980s while also winning seven Big East titles and leading the 1988 United States national team to a bronze medal in the Olympics.

His coaching legacy includes the recruitment and development of four players in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Allen Iverson.

"This is a person that, when I came to college -- I was 18 -- helped me to grow," Ewing, the current Georgetown coach, said during Big East media day last October. "Even though my mom and dad were always there, he was always a person I could pick up the phone and call if I had a problem or if I had a question."

Thompson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, was a pioneer credited with opening the door for a generation of minority coaches.  His national title run in 1984 was the first by a Black head coach and altered the perception of Black coaches.

Read more: https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/29777594/legendary-georgetown-coach-john-thompson-jr-dies-age-78

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Reply Legendary Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. dies at age 78 (Original post)
BeyondGeography Aug 31 OP
gademocrat7 Aug 31 #1
Botany Aug 31 #2
RhodeIslandOne Aug 31 #6
Girl powers Aug 31 #9
appalachiablue Aug 31 #3
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Aug 31 #4
iluvtennis Aug 31 #5
ProfessorGAC Aug 31 #7
muriel_volestrangler Aug 31 #8
brooklynite Aug 31 #10
BeyondGeography Aug 31 #11
elleng Aug 31 #12
brooklynite Aug 31 #13
Totally Tunsie Aug 31 #14
BeyondGeography Aug 31 #15

Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 09:40 AM

1. R.I.P Coach Thompson

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 09:59 AM

2. Back in the day Big East Basketball was must see TV

Georgetown with Pat Ewing, Sleepy Floyd, and John Thompson
St. John's with Lou Carnesecca and Chris Mullins
Villanova University with Rollie Massimino
Syracuse with Jim Boeheim and Pearl Washington
Providence U. and I am blanking on their head coach back in the day.

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Response to Botany (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 01:08 PM

6. Providence: Rick Pitino, then Rick Barnes

 

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Response to Botany (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 02:12 PM

9. A Giant of a man

And do you remember the ugly sweater face off with (was it Lou Carnesecca?)

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 10:25 AM

3. Big John, Rest in Peace. Patrick Ewing, coach and team

of Georgetown gave us many years of enjoyment esp, in DC. And we're so thankful.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 10:58 AM

4. RIP coach

You brought a lot to the game.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 12:42 PM

5. BOy how I loved watching Big John's teams. But the best thing I liked about him was that

his was that Uncle to his players. He instilled in them not only basketball, but how important it was for them to get their degrees.


https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/31/sport/john-thompson-jr-death-spt-intl/index.html
"Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on, but most importantly, off the basketball court," said a statement from the Thompson family.

Seventy five of Thompson's 77 players who stayed all four years received college degrees and 26 of his players were drafted in the NBA, including Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutumbo, Alonzo Mourning, and Allen Iverson.


Rest in Peace John Thompson!

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 01:11 PM

7. A Shame

He was an important guy, athletically, academically, and socially. RIP!

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 01:29 PM

8. Charles Pierce: He Had a Glare That Could Melt Concrete and a Laugh That Could Move Mountains

On any list of the most interesting people it’s been my pleasure to encounter in this business, John Thompson ranks right near the top. I covered college basketball, primarily through the prism of the Big East Conference, throughout most of the 1980s, which meant I spent a lot of time around Georgetown and its coach. Stubborn, infuriating, charming, principled, with a glare that could melt concrete and a laugh that could move mountains, a child of segregation and an unashamed capitalist, a coach who turned a moribund program into both a national champion and a national cultural touchstone in a troubled time, John Thompson contained multitudes.

I chafed under his rules, nearly got into a brawl with one of his managers when the guy refused admission to a female reporter, excoriated him in print, and was one of the several renegade American reporters who were covertly rooting for the USSR against Thompson’s USA team at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul because of the way Thompson had run his training camp. (This admittedly also had a lot to do with our affection for the Lithuanian heart of the USSR squad, notably future NBA stars Sarunas Marčiulionis and Arvydas Sabonis, who’d been showing open contempt for their Soviet “minders” throughout the Games, which was my first hint that something was cracking in the Eastern Bloc.) Then, during the subsequent college season, Thompson walked off the court in protest of a new NCAA admissions requirement that he felt discriminated against minority athletes, and he did it on the weekend of the newly declared holiday celebrating Dr. King’s birthday. I wrote two columns that strongly supported his actions.
...
Later, I asked a member of the Georgetown contingent when exactly did Thompson and I become such good pals. It was your walk-off columns, the guy told me. Especially that you noticed that it came on MLK weekend.

After that, and especially after he’d retired, he never missed a chance to jibe at me, always smiling. “You wanted me deported after that Olympics,” he would say, and then laugh that mighty laugh. I will not hear it ever again. John Thompson passed away this weekend at the age of 78. Rest in power, big fella.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a33851607/john-thompson-dead-78-georgetown-coach-obituary/

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 02:34 PM

10. Never understood why football coaches(college or otherwise) are considered "legendary"

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 02:36 PM

11. He was a basketball coach

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #11)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 03:12 PM

12. as we ALL should know.

G'Twn our hometown team (when daughters growing up here/there,) and Coach Thompson was our favorite.

'"Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on, but most importantly, off the basketball court. He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else.

"However, for us, his greatest legacy remains as a father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. More than a coach, he was our foundation. More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear everyday. We will miss him but are grounded in the assurance that we carry his faith and determination in us. We will cherish forever his strength, courage, wisdom and boldness, as well as his unfailing love. . .

Big John didn't just run Georgetown basketball.

He was Georgetown basketball.'

https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/29777594/legendary-georgetown-coach-john-thompson-jr-dies-age-78

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Response to elleng (Reply #12)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 09:09 PM

13. When I was at Penn, the Basketball team made it all the way to the NCAA semifinals....

I couldn't tell you then or now who the Coach was...

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 11:02 PM

14. John Thompson was a giant of a man in more ways than one.

I had the pleasure of knowing "JT" during his Junior and Senior years at Providence College, as I was attending Bryant - a small school next to Brown and near PC. Even in his young years, he was the kindest person, a willing Big Bro to anyone who needed one. It was a delight and pleasure - but certainly no surprise - to see him grow and prosper in his player and coaching careers, and yet he remained the same level person he had always been.

RIP, John.

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #14)

Mon Aug 31, 2020, 11:57 PM

15. Great post

Makes perfect sense; Thompson, even if you only saw him on the telly, came across as an exceptionally well-grounded person. Thanks for weighing in.

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