A number of prominent figures from around the basketball world and local DMV community have shared their fondest memories and celebrated John Thompson Jr.’s incredible life and career since his passing at the end of August, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined the discussion on Wednesday morning.
On the morning of Thompson’s funeral in Northwest D.C. Bowser tweeted a photo with a quote from Allen Iverson on his remembrance of the legendary Georgetown coach.
Iverson said, “I want to thank Coach Thompson. For saving my life. For giving me the opportunity. I was recruited by every school in the country for football and basketball. And an incident happened in high school and that was taken away. No other teams, no other schools were recruiting me anymore. My mother went to Georgetown and begged him to give me a chance. And he did.”
After he was involved in a Hampton, Va. bowling alley brawl, Iverson lost his opportunity to play basketball at the collegiate level, but Thompson took a chance on him and allowed him to play at Georgetown, which ultimately turned Iverson’s career and life around. He was later drafted first overall in the 1996 draft and went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career in the pros, all thanks to Thompson believing in him.
As many Georgetown legends return to D.C. for Thompson’s funeral, the mayor acknowledged both Thompson and Iverson’s impact on Georgetown and D.C. sports history.