Former Georgetown Coach John Thompson Dies at 78

Mike Tomlin John Thompson Stelers

A College Coaching Legend Is Dead

Thompson served as coach at Georgetown University for almost three decades after playing for the Boston Celtics for two seasons, and he became the first Black basketball head coach to win the NCAA National Championship in 1984, CNN notes. We know that he will be deeply missed by many and our family appreciates your condolences and prayers.

When standout player Allen Iverson, who starred for Georgetown in the mid-19909s, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he got emotional while thanking Thompson.

In a week that also featured the deaths of former NBA star Clifford Robinson and former Arizona head coach Lute Olson, the basketball world is truly in a place of mourning.

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GOLDMAN: It's fitting to remember him now when basketball players are rallying behind the phrase Black Lives Matter and refusing to take part in games as a protest against racial injustice. Thompson, who reportedly stood up to Edmonds and was not afraid of any retaliation, forced Edmonds cut all ties with the players. Thompson is the first African American coach to win an NCAA championship.

Our legendary Georgetown coach, John Thompson has passed away. As a backup to Celtics legend Bill Russell, Thompson won two NBA championships before retiring to coach high school basketball at St. Anthony High School in Washington from 1966 to 1972.

The outlet adds that Thompson has an autobiography set to be released at the top of next year.

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"Big John" Thompson was known for leading the Georgetown Hoyas three "Final Four" series during the 1980s and leading the Hoyas to the 1984 national championship. He was the "real-life Black Panther", says WJLA sports anchor Lou Holder.

Later in the evening, TNT's Inside The NBA crew opened a pre-game broadcast with a tribute to Thompson, voiced by Ernie Johnson Jr.

Along with Iverson, many other National Basketball Association superstars came through Thompson's Hoyas' program including Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Patrick Ewing, who is Georgetown's current coach. Dick Vitale says he was not only a father figure to just Ewing and Iverson but all the athletes he coached in his time at Georgetown.

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