The Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame coach has passed away, according to friends and family. John Thompson was the first Black head coach to win an NCAA National Championship when he led the Hoyas to the title in 1984. He had a 97% graduation rate for his players at Georgetown.
In 1989, the Hall of Fame coach protested a new academic eligibility rule that he believed targeted African-American athletes, denying them of scholarships.
His spirited energy and approach to life and basketball pushed players to be better on and off the court.
Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan released a statement:
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
From one Georgetown legend to another, Patrick Ewing paid tribute to his former coach and lifelong mentor John Thompson. pic.twitter.com/5puwhIteDj
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 31, 2020