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Into More Than a Coach: John Thompson

Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson, Jr is leaving a legacy behind as a champion on and off the court.

About this episode:

Men’s basketball coach John Thompson, Jr was one of the greats. In his 27 seasons as the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, he built a weak team into a powerhouse. Under his leadership, Georgetown won seven Big East titles and made it to the Final Four three times, even bringing home a national championship in 1984. He was the first Black coach to win the title. During his tenure, Thompson coached Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, and Allen Iverson.

But he’s most remembered for the man he was off the court. Thompson was widely known as a mentor, a father figure, and an activist -- fighting to make sure his players, especially his Black players, felt supported and had a shot at a quality education.

On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee looks at the legacy of Coach Thompson. He’s joined by Jesse Washington, senior writer at The Undefeated. Washington also helped Thompson write his autobiography: “I Came As a Shadow,” set for release early next year.

Find the transcript here.

Further Reading:

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