Black History Month spotlight on sports

By Ray Richardson

Contributing Writer

John Thompson stepped into the history books when he became the first African-American coach to lead an NCAA Division I men’s basketball team to a national championship.

Thompson led Georgetown to an 84-75 victory over the University of Houston April 2, 1984 in Seattle. The game featured two future Hall of Fame centers — Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing and Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon.

In Thompson’s 27-year career at Georgetown, he led the Hoyas to three Final Fours, 20 NCAA tournaments and seven Big East Conference titles.

Thompson won 71% of his games at Georgetown (596-239) and coached four players that were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame: Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Allen Iverson.

Thompson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. He died on Aug. 31, 2020 at age 78.

Ray Richardson is a contributing writer for The Wave. He can be reached at