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LINKS: Ewing, Iverson, Mutombo & Mourning at Private Thompson Funeral

Invite-only family and friends gathered for the first memorial to John Thompson, Jr.

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Marquette v Georgetown Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The first of several memorial services for John Thompson, Jr., was held today and the invite-only celebration of his life brought together quite a few famous Georgetown Hoyas.

From the videos above and below, pall bearers appear to be Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, and Michael Jackson. There is a virtual service planned by Georgetown for October 3rd, as well as a promise for a live memorial event for “Big John” when the COVID-19 issues smooth out.

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See you when I get there coach...

A post shared by Allen Iverson (@theofficialai3) on

More articles and commentary on the legend’s life keeps pouring out. “New” stories about his faith, his youth, and his inspirations keep surfacing.

Here are the links:

Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing and other Georgetown legends pay respects at John Thompson Jr.’s funeral | NBC Sports Washington

A number of Hoya all-stars were seen in the city Wednesday morning for Thompson’s funeral, arriving at the church to honor the Hall-of-Fame coach who passed away at the end of August at the age of 78.

Allen Iverson and Patrick Ewing, two former players under Thompson who were especially close to him, were the first spotted at [St. Augustine Church in Northwest D.C.].

John Thompson fought racism at every stop over storied basketball career | USA Today

“He would never let me share this while he was living,” says John Butler, who played for Thompson at St. Anthony’s from 1966 to 1970. “Some in the archdiocese Catholic league, some coaches, did not speak favorably about him when he went to Georgetown. And that really, really hurt him that there would be some who knew him because he was a product of the Catholic schools, he spent his time at Carroll High School and helped to put the place on the map, and some coaches who knew of his commitment to young people, and, having played against him, would take the opportunity to talk down about him when he went to Georgetown, in efforts, I think, to sabotage his success.”

Coach John Thompson Jr. remembered as ‘giant’ mentor to his players and man of faith | Catholic Standard

In a 1995 interview with Carole Norris Greene of the Catholic News Service, Thompson spoke about the racism he encountered while attending Mass in his younger years, and why he stayed Catholic.

“I think we’ve got to challenge. I tell people this, and I constantly remind them that I went to Catholic churches in my lifetime… where I had to receive Communion second,” he said. “I went to Catholic Masses where I had to sit in the back of the church.”

Thompson in that interview also said, “It teaches you, in my opinion, to be a better Catholic than it does to abandon Catholicism – because you challenge the system, you listen to their words, and you make them live by their words… and you don’t run from that.”

What Made Coach John Thompson a Legend | Grotto

We spoke with Father Edward “Monk” Malloy, CSC, former president of the University of Notre Dame, who played on a championship basketball team with Thompson at Archbishop John Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.

“John knew some of the worst things that happened in pre-civil rights D.C., and tried to be an instrument for change,” Molloy said. He recalls Thompson as a smart, team-oriented player who was effective blocking shots and clearing the boards for the undefeated Lions, then ranked first in the country.

“We were the first integrated team in the metro D.C. area. John was with me there for two years, and one more year after me,” said Molloy, who remembered joining the Thompson family for dinner at their home during that time. “We were given a hard time by all Black teams and all white teams. That’s why we hung together so well. We were being held as a model of integrated activity.”

John Thompson Jr Remembered at Funeral

JOHN THOMPSON JR REMEMBERED AT FUNERAL: Friends and family remember John Thompson Jr. who died last week at 78. The legendary former head coach of Georgetown men's basketball transformed the team and captured the NCAA championship in 1984. MORE:

Posted by Fox 5 DC on Wednesday, September 9, 2020