John Thompson Jr. was a father figure to so many during his legendary 27 years as the Georgetown head coach, and those influential years thereafter to the basketball community. Following the news of his passing on Monday morning, athletes and teams around the DMV expressed their gratitude toward the Hoyas legend.
The most notable came from his former player Allen Iverson, who in his Hall of Fame speech thanked Thompson for "saving his life" and taking a chance on him when other colleges stopped recruiting him after an incident in high school. Thompson's guidance helped Iverson carve out an incredible college and NBA career.
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
"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," Iverson wrote. "May you always Rest in Paradise, where there is no pain or suffering. I will always see your face in my mind, hoping that I made you proud. 'Your Prodigal Son'."
Another former Hoya and all-time basketball great, Dikembe Mutombo, also spoke of Thompson as a father figure.
Very sad news to wake up to on this cloudy morning. Our legendary Georgetown coach, John Thompson has passed away. He was my mentor, great teacher, hero and a father figure to so many us who got the chance to play… https://t.co/wLPCprJ6gO— Dikembe Mutombo (@officialmutombo) August 31, 2020
From a D.C. legend who touched the lives of so many around the nation's capital and beyond who followed basketball during the past four decades to the current corner piece of the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal tweeted how lucky he was to get to know Thompson.
This year just keep getting worse!!— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) August 31, 2020
RIP COACH JOHN THOMPSON. I was honored to have the opportunity to pick your brain and learn from you while in DC. You had the look of intimidation and focus but had the mindset of a wise man. You're a legend and will truly be missed!!
The Wizards, Mystics, and Nationals all showed their public solidarity with the loss of a true D.C. icon.
A legend and leader in our community, on and off the floor. Rest in peace, Coach.— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) August 31, 2020
Keeping the Thompson family in our thoughts. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/IjhYspMgYQ
A legend and leader in our community, on and off the floor. Rest in peace, Coach.— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) August 31, 2020
Keeping the Thompson family in our thoughts. pic.twitter.com/V1589HXyNL
The world lost a pioneer. The District of Champions lost a legend.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 31, 2020
Rest in peace, Coach. pic.twitter.com/ZVlhJXS7bS
Thompson was named the "New England Player of the Year" and won an NIT title during his Providence College playing days, and the Friars remembered the former center.
The Friar family mourns the loss of John Thompson ‘64. He was a legendary player and an even greater person. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thompson family.— PC Men's Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) August 31, 2020
Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/BsORrzwX5F
For a coach who now turns out NBA one-and-done's perhaps better than anyone else, Kentucky head coach John Calipari was sure to show his admiration.
Coach John Thompson passed away last night. The Hall of Fame coach was a life changer for so many. He was a great coach who built some of the best college teams of all time. His players were a who's who of college basketball. Truly an icon in his time.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 31, 2020
With that iconic white towel draped over his shoulder, Thompson was a trailblazer for so many future Black coaches. That includes Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley.
DMV natives Christy Winters Scott and Kara Lawson both were touched by Thompson's strong presence.
His impact on our game, on/off of the court, was larger than life..his belief in so many,&the fire that he ignited,will continue to inspire us all.Thank u for your bold,relentless persistence..things may not be easy, but they are never impossible..thank u, #JohnThompson #Pops 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/Rvrckx38Bu— ChristyWintersScott (@ChristyWScott51) August 31, 2020
Growing up in the DMV, there was never a doubt that you could build a dominant program as an African-American. John Thompson is a legend that made us all proud. RIP 🙏🏽— Kara Lawson (@karalawson20) August 31, 2020
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