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John Thompson Jr. Selected as Lapchick Award Recipient

Former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. has been selected as a recipient of the Lapchick Character Award.  A release from states:

Hall of Famers John Thompson, who led Georgetown to a national championship, and Kay Yow, whose courageous fight against cancer overshadowed her coaching career, and national high school coaching legend Jack Curran of Archbishop Molloy, have been selected as the recipients of the second annual Lapchick Character Awards.

The three will be honored at a luncheon at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19, 2009, and again during the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic games that night.

The award was started last season by a group inspired by Lapchick biographer and former player Gus Alfieri to recognize basketball coaches who have shown the character traits and coaching skills of Hall of Famer Joe Lapchick, who coached with St. John's and the New York Knicks.

The inaugural class was Hall of Famers Pat Summitt, Lou Carnesecca and Dean Smith. This year's honorees are as accomplished as basketball coaches but excelled as individuals of high character, who focused on developing young people into significant adults.

John Thompson took over a Georgetown program that won three games the previous season and turned it into one that made that three Final Four appearances, including the 1984 national title, the first ever won by a black head coach. His Hoya teams won 596 games and he led the United States to the bronze medal in 1988 Olympics . He was an outspoken voice concerning the treatment of minority players, especially his fight against NCAA Proposition 42 that brought national attention to economic and educational discrimination. All but two of the 78 players who stayed four years with Thompson received a diploma (97 percent).Thompson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1999. His son, John Thompson III, led Georgetown to the Final Four in 2007.

Congrats to Big John.