Tributes are pouring in following the death of former Georgetown University Coach John Thompson. His death has been confirmed by friends and family, but a cause of death has not been released. Thompson, who was 78, became the first Black coach to win a major NCAA championship when he led the Hoyas to the crown in 1984, among his three Final Four appearances. He recently retired from Nike’s board of directors and had written an autobiography, which is due to be released in January. Former ABC7 sports anchor Lou Holder called Thompson the “real-life Black Panther.” His Hall of Fame coaching legacy, which followed his own two NBA championships withe the Boston Celtics, includes the recruitment and development of four Hall of Fame players: Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Patrick Ewing, and Allen Iverson. Iverson, in his Hall of Fame induction speech, tearfully thanked Thompson for “saving his life” by recruiting him to Georgetown.
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