Sports community reacts to John Thompson Jr.'s passing

Georgetown Hoyas head coach John Thompson III (L) celebrates with his father and former Hoyas head coach John Thompson Jr. (R) after the Hoyas' game against the Syracuse Orange at Verizon Center. The Hoyas won 79-72.
© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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. 

"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'."

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. 

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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. 


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. 

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.