In the wake of the death of Hall of Fame Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson Jr., numerous figures inside and outside the basketball community have shared words and stories about the impact he had on individuals and the game itself.
Dikembe Mutombo, who played three seasons under Thompson as a member of the Hoyas, joined that group with an emotional message on Instagram.
"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 for him," Mutombo wrote. "Under coach Thompson, I learned a lot about the game of basketball but most importantly, I learned how to be a man in society. We will really miss him. RIP coach."
Mutombo's reflection of his time with Thompson follows the same theme as many others. Those who had the opportunity to play for the legendary head coach have all noted that while their skills on the court improved, it was the lessons they learned about life off the court that truly changed their lives.
Former Georgetown guard Allen Iverson shared on social media that Thompson saved his life by giving him an opportunity to succeed and taking him under his wing, and Alonzo Mourning and Patrick Ewing expressed similar sentiments.
A common phrase many used to describe Thompson was "father figure," as his impact clearly went way beyond the game of basketball. Mutombo and others went on to have great careers in the NBA, but they all believe that is largely due to their time with Thompson.