There’s not enough time to write up a post for each “first” since the passing of the legendary basketball coach, John Thompson Jr., last August but the first BIG EAST Tournament seems to be a big enough milestone.
John Thompson won - a lot.— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) August 31, 2020
• 596 wins at Georgetown
• He led the Hoyas to 6 of the first 12 Big East Tournament championships
• Seven NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearances, three national championship games
• 1984 national championship pic.twitter.com/cL8KDsMZRK
Thompson was a six-time Big East Conference Tournament champion (1980, 1982, 1984-85, 1987, 1989). The tournament games in 1980 and 1982 were held in Providence and Hartford, respectively, before permanently moving to Madison Square Garden.
Georgetown was runner-up in 1991, 1992, 1994, and 1996.
Thompson was also the radio announcer for many years.
Many, many great stories. I am trying to block out that he won't be walking through the doors this year. He will be missed tremendously.— Kevin Kugler (@kevinkugler) March 9, 2021
Of course, some of the stories are the best parts of Thompson at the Big East Tournament.
I grew up in the era when Big East Basketball was king and nothing on the planet was better than the Big East Tournament. There was always an extra buzz inside MSG when John Thompson and the Hoyas took the court...— Steve Levy (@espnSteveLevy) August 31, 2020
You couldn't miss Big John and now we'll all miss him. RIP
John Thompson story: Big East Tournament at the Garden. Postgame. Tony Kornheiser asks Big John an insightful question. Thompson smirks and goes, “Tony, what are you bringing that bullshit in here for?” We all laughed. For my $$, 2 best postgame interviews: JT and Jim Calhoun.— Mike DiMauro (@BCgenius) August 31, 2020
The NABC coaches, of course, wore their towels last month to celebrate Thompson during Black History Month. BIG EAST coaches have been showing respect and support for all he did throughout the tumultuous season.
Fans will want to keep their ears out for the end of the academic year when the new John Thompson Jr. Award for will be given out to recognize significant efforts to fight prejudice and discrimination and advance positive societal change.
In the meantime, hopefully the Hoyas have a little help from Thompson on Wednesday when they face Marquette.