He was to many, the only coach that the Georgetown Hoyas ever had…An outstanding basketball player, basketball coach and a true leader, “Big John” Thompson was a legend…He played for the Boston Celtics, as a big center back in the day, he coached the Georgetown Hoyas to the NCAA college basketball national championship, and he later became a very good college basketball commentator…He was also great friends with Coach Dean Smith, back in the days, when the North Carolina Tar Heels and Georgetown Hoyas used to do battle…..“Big John” Thompson, gone at age 78…
RIP:Coach John Thompson…
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.
“We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our father, John Thompson, Jr,” the Thompson family said in a statement released by Georgetown. “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.
“We know that he will be deeply missed by many and our family appreciates your condolences and prayers. But don’t worry about him, because as he always liked to say, ‘Big Ace is cool.'”
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— FOX8 WGHP (@myfox8) August 31, 2020
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
Upon John Thompson's death, I'm reminded of the photo/video below, symbolic of one of legendary @UNC_Basketball coach Dean Smith's greatest contributions "beyond basketball."
At a time when many white people were threatened by JT and his team, Smith overtly befriended him. (MORE) https://t.co/O7xiHQWhFp
— David Glenn Show (@DavidGlennShow) August 31, 2020
The Hall of Famer turned Georgetown into a "Hoya Paranoia" powerhouse and became the first Black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men's basketball championship. https://t.co/ovsfs9J0vq
— NewsAdvance.com (@newsadvance) August 31, 2020
A true trailblazer. When “Big John” pointed toward me and asked me to come over to his spot on the baseline to talk, I was in shock. He taught me a history lesson about the connection between him and @ncatmbb. It was a moment I’ll never forget. May he R.I.P. #JohnThompson pic.twitter.com/nIhyEU7jUz
— Spencer D. Turkin (@Turkin35) August 31, 2020
Today, we mourn the loss of inspirational leader and legendary coach John R. Thompson Jr. (1941 – 2020), whose contributions on and off the court will forever be felt on our campus and around the world. Because he stood tall, so too have countless others. pic.twitter.com/DhOTbNGVhD
— Georgetown Univ. (@Georgetown) August 31, 2020
An absolute legend…Coach Thompson will be missed. Had the honor to meet him once at the Final Four when I was a kid. Paved the way for many Black coaches to get an opportunity…RIP https://t.co/fRHdszxjwr
— Coach Darren Corbett (@DarrenCorbett4) August 31, 2020
— Tubby Smith (@CoachTubbySmith) August 31, 2020