Oct 21, 2014
Former Georgetown coach to receive Court of Honor award

For the first time since presenting its first Court of Honor Award in 2009, the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation will bestow the honor on one its own, legendary former Georgetown University coach John Thompson, Jr., at the sixth Court of Honor Gala on June 24, 2015.

The Court of Honor Award is presented to an individual who has roots in college basketball, values those roots, and has gone on to distinguish himself in his profession, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership.

Since his arrival as a coach in college basketball in 1972, those in our profession have looked up to John Thompson, both literally and figuratively, said Roy Williams, head coach at the University of North Carolina and president of the NABC Foundation. Not only has he had an outstanding career as the coach of a national championship team and a United States Olympic team, but he has been an outspoken champion for student-athlete rights.

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, the 6-foot-10 Thompson was an All-America player at John Carroll High in Washington, D.C., before starring at Providence College. He played on two NBA championship teams with the Boston Celtics prior to entering the coaching profession at St. Anthonys High, where his teams had a 122-28 record.

Georgetown hired Thompson as its head coach in 1972 and it didn’t take long for the Hoyas to reap rewards, earning three NCAA tournament berths with a pair of NIT appearances in his first seven seasons.

When Dave Gavitt led the formation of the BIG EAST Conference for the 1979-80 season, the Hoyas were dominant, winning six of the first 10 BIG EAST championships while capturing the NCAA title in 1984 and finishing second nationally in 1982 and 1985.

John Thompson really was the focal point of the rise of the BIG EAST Conference. He was the most recognizable figure and obviously Georgetown had tremendous success at the start of the conference with Patrick (Ewing) being there and then Alonzo (Mourning). It really pushed the conference to the top in a short amount of time, said Syracuse’s hall of fame coach Jim Boeheim, like Thompson a former NABC president.

With 596 career wins and 24 consecutive postseason berths in his 27 years as Georgetown’s head coach, Thompson had 76 of the 78 players who stayed at Georgetown for four years receive a degree. The three-time BIG EAST coach of the year and four-time national coach of the year was a demonstrative opponent of Proposition 42 in 1989, which focused national attention on the issues of economic and educational discrimination.

Since his retirement from active coaching in 1999, Thompson has established the John Thompson Charitable Foundation to help improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children within the District of Columbia and other communities. He continues to assist organizations in his professional advisory roles as a consultant, spokesman and board member to Nike, along with serving as Coach Emeritus and Charitable Presidential Consultant for Urban Affairs at Georgetown.

On September 12, 2014, numerous dignitaries and alumni, along with former and current basketball players, were in attendance as Georgetown held groundbreaking ceremonies for the John R. Thompson, Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center, a $62 million project expected to be completed in August, 2016. Thompson’s son, John Thompson III, is the present head coach at Georgetown.

The inaugural Court of Honor Gala Experience was held in April 2009 in Chicago, where Jerry Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball and the man who assembled the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 2008, received the Court of Honor Award. Former Senator Bill Bradley, who combined distinguished careers in basketball, politics and government to become an iconic figure across America, was the recipient of the 2010 Court of Honor Award in New York. Phil Knight, the chairman and co-founder of Nike, Inc., the world’s largest sports and fitness company, received the award in 2011, also in New York. The 2013 recipient was Jim Nantz of CBS Sports, the multi-Emmy Award winning sportscaster who called his 28th consecutive NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2014 in Dallas. Dick Vitale, ESPN college basketball analyst and the unofficial ambassador for the game, was honored in New York on June 25, 2014.

Proceeds from the Court of Honor Gala Experience help fund the NABC Foundation’s programs, including the TTRR (TICKET TO READING REWARDS) program, a reading incentive program that encourages middle school students to read books outside the classroom and obtain rewards for reading. TTRR has three primary components: reading rewards, tickets to local college basketball games and a coaching component for middle school coaches to both learn new techniques and to act as mentors for the reading program.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, and John W. Rogers Jr., founder and CEO of Ariel Investments, LLC, were instrumental in the launch of the TTRR program in Chicago. The program is now being conducted in some 100 schools nationwide.

Former Georgetown coach to receive Court of Honor award

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From the NABC

For the first time since presenting its first Court of Honor Award in 2009, the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation will bestow the honor on one its own, legendary former Georgetown University coach John Thompson, Jr., at the sixth Court of Honor Gala on June 24, 2015.

The Court of Honor Award is presented to an individual who has roots in college basketball, values those roots, and has gone on to distinguish himself in his profession, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership.

Since his arrival as a coach in college basketball in 1972, those in our profession have looked up to John Thompson, both literally and figuratively, said Roy Williams, head coach at the University of North Carolina and president of the NABC Foundation. Not only has he had an outstanding career as the coach of a national championship team and a United States Olympic team, but he has been an outspoken champion for student-athlete rights.

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, the 6-foot-10 Thompson was an All-America player at John Carroll High in Washington, D.C., before starring at Providence College. He played on two NBA championship teams with the Boston Celtics prior to entering the coaching profession at St. Anthonys High, where his teams had a 122-28 record.

Georgetown hired Thompson as its head coach in 1972 and it didn’t take long for the Hoyas to reap rewards, earning three NCAA tournament berths with a pair of NIT appearances in his first seven seasons.

When Dave Gavitt led the formation of the BIG EAST Conference for the 1979-80 season, the Hoyas were dominant, winning six of the first 10 BIG EAST championships while capturing the NCAA title in 1984 and finishing second nationally in 1982 and 1985.

John Thompson really was the focal point of the rise of the BIG EAST Conference. He was the most recognizable figure and obviously Georgetown had tremendous success at the start of the conference with Patrick (Ewing) being there and then Alonzo (Mourning). It really pushed the conference to the top in a short amount of time, said Syracuse’s hall of fame coach Jim Boeheim, like Thompson a former NABC president.

With 596 career wins and 24 consecutive postseason berths in his 27 years as Georgetown’s head coach, Thompson had 76 of the 78 players who stayed at Georgetown for four years receive a degree. The three-time BIG EAST coach of the year and four-time national coach of the year was a demonstrative opponent of Proposition 42 in 1989, which focused national attention on the issues of economic and educational discrimination.

Since his retirement from active coaching in 1999, Thompson has established the John Thompson Charitable Foundation to help improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children within the District of Columbia and other communities. He continues to assist organizations in his professional advisory roles as a consultant, spokesman and board member to Nike, along with serving as Coach Emeritus and Charitable Presidential Consultant for Urban Affairs at Georgetown.

On September 12, 2014, numerous dignitaries and alumni, along with former and current basketball players, were in attendance as Georgetown held groundbreaking ceremonies for the John R. Thompson, Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center, a $62 million project expected to be completed in August, 2016. Thompson’s son, John Thompson III, is the present head coach at Georgetown.

The inaugural Court of Honor Gala Experience was held in April 2009 in Chicago, where Jerry Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball and the man who assembled the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 2008, received the Court of Honor Award. Former Senator Bill Bradley, who combined distinguished careers in basketball, politics and government to become an iconic figure across America, was the recipient of the 2010 Court of Honor Award in New York. Phil Knight, the chairman and co-founder of Nike, Inc., the world’s largest sports and fitness company, received the award in 2011, also in New York. The 2013 recipient was Jim Nantz of CBS Sports, the multi-Emmy Award winning sportscaster who called his 28th consecutive NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2014 in Dallas. Dick Vitale, ESPN college basketball analyst and the unofficial ambassador for the game, was honored in New York on June 25, 2014.

Proceeds from the Court of Honor Gala Experience help fund the NABC Foundation’s programs, including the TTRR (TICKET TO READING REWARDS) program, a reading incentive program that encourages middle school students to read books outside the classroom and obtain rewards for reading. TTRR has three primary components: reading rewards, tickets to local college basketball games and a coaching component for middle school coaches to both learn new techniques and to act as mentors for the reading program.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, and John W. Rogers Jr., founder and CEO of Ariel Investments, LLC, were instrumental in the launch of the TTRR program in Chicago. The program is now being conducted in some 100 schools nationwide.






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