We begin by reflecting on the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman, aka Black Panther, before diving into the history of the other legend who passed recently, Georgetown Coach John Thompson. Coach Thompson was a towering figure who established a program whose legacy we’re still experiencing to this day. We explore his impact on college basketball by focusing on getting young black men access to education while giving them support as men. We extol the timeless ways in which he connected with his players for good times and bad as we tell the stories of Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Allen Iverson, and Michael Graham. And we explore the lessons in his decision to walk out in 1989 to protest Proposition 48 and its impact on traditionally underserved student-athletes.
And, of course, we dive into Ewing and Thompson’s storied run from an appearance in the NCAA Finals against Dean Smith, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and Michael Jordan in 1982 to a Championship in 1984 to a legendary run in 1985 which culminated in the shocking upset by Villanova in the Finals in 1985.
While we mourn the loss of Coach Thompson, we take some solace in running it back to another time and learning from the life of a man who had the courage to stand by his conviction and the vision to establish a legacy that changed the world.