When you see the outpouring of memories and condolences following John Thompson Jr.'s death Monday, you start to realize just how far his impact stretched throughout the basketball community.
From his former players, to rival coaches and those who've grown up in the game after him, Thompson impacted a lot of people during his time at Georgetown. Speaking of former players, former Hoyas great and NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning paid tribute to his old coach after learning the news.
"The world has lost a revolutionary icon and a leader," Mourning wrote. "Today, I have lost a father figure, life long coach, and one of my greatest mentors. Coach Thompson, saved my life.... continuously motivating and molding me into the man that I am today."
Mourning played for Thompson at Georgetown for four years, where he was a two-time consesus All-American, three-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year and the conference's Player of the Year in 1991-92.
At the end of his college career, he was the second pick in the 1992 NBA Draft and went on to play 16 seasons in the NBA, winning two Defensive Player of the Year awards and an NBA championship in 2005-06. Mourning followed in the footsteps of legendary Georgetown big men Patrick Ewing and Dikembe Mutombo. Thompson knew how to identify and develop talent at the center spot, which was just one of the traits that made him a great coach.
In the end, Mourning had a singular message on how to best honor Thompson's life.
"With all the lives he touched and inspired, the best way to pay homage to him is by celebrating his life, applauding his legacy; and using our voices and actions to serve others," Mourning said.