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#pounditWednesday, January 27, 2021

John Thompson dies at 78, reminding us of famous Allen Iverson speech

Allen Iverson

The basketball world lost a legend on Monday, as former Georgetown coach John Thompson has died at 78.

Georgetown confirmed the news in a statement.

There is no word yet on a cause of death.

Thompson coached Georgetown from 1972-1999. He led the team to a national championship in 1984 with the help of Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. He coached several former NBA superstars including Ewing, Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning. Thompson had a winning percentage of .714 with the Hoyas, and he was the first African-American coach to win a national title.

During his emotional Hall of Fame induction speech in 2016, Iverson famously thanked Thompson for saving his life. He said no other schools would give him a shot after he got into trouble in high school.

Iverson paid tribute to Thompson on Twitter after learning of the coach’s death.

Ewing is currently the head coach at Georgetown. Thompson’s son, John Thompson III, coached the Hoyas from 2004-2017. Thompson’s legacy is a huge part of the Georgetown men’s basketball program.

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