HBCU Community Mourns Loss of Coach John Thompson
Posted By: Will Moss on September 01, 2020 |
I remember as a high school kid watching the Georgetown Hoyas play with their tall and proud African American coach. And then... All of the players on the floor and on the bench were black. I wondered to myself, is this what a black college looks like? Is Georgetown a Black college or HBCU?
I later found out of course that Georgetown was not an HBCU, but that left me even more impressed that the tall proud black male figure walking the floor directing his team of all black athletes, was a black man coaching at a non-black school, not afraid to have an all black team.
As a young black male, that played a little basketball in High School, I looked up to coach John Thompson, without even really knowing him.
Unfortunately the proud giant of a man as just passed away.
You will be missed, but more importantly, you will be remembered in a positive light.
John Thompson was one of the most influential coaches in college basketball history.
Whether it was becoming the first Black coach to win an NCAA Division I basketball championship, sticking up for his players amid constant backlash, or boldly speaking out when few others did, he embodied what it truly meant to stand up for what you believe in.
Thompson, 78, who won 596 games at Georgetown, including the 1984 NCAA championship, and made three Final Four appearances, has died, his family announced. Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Eric ’Sleepy’ Floyd are some of the most memorable Hoyas who played under Thompson.
Iverson said in his Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame speech that Thompson saved his life at Georgetown. Many of the top schools in the country backed off Iverson after his off-court troubles, but his mother pleaded to Thompson to give her son a chance.
Thanks For Saving My Life Coach. I’m going to miss you, but I’m sure that you are looking down on us with a big smile. I would give anything just for one more phone call from you only to hear you say, “Hey MF”, then we would talk about everything except basketball....... pic.twitter.com/03yj4gZv5q
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) August 31, 2020
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