Former Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson Jr. has another award to put in his already crowded trophy case.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) bestowed Thompson with the organization’s Court of Honor Award at a gala in New York City this past Wednesday night. It was the sixth Court of Honor Award given out by the NABC, the largest association of basketball coaches in the country, with over 5,000 members from the NCAA down to the high school level.
According to the NABC, the Court of Honor Award is “presented to an individual who has roots in college basketball, values those roots, and has gone on to distinguish himself in his profession, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership.”
In previous years, the award has been given to chairman of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo, former Senator Bill Bradley, Nike co-founder Phil Knight, CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz and ESPN analyst Dick Vitale.
Thompson has been a fixture at Georgetown since his hiring in 1972. He served as head coach of the men’s basketball team until 1999 and can still be seen roaming the halls of McDonough Gymnasium and sitting behind the baseline at every home game.
The first African-American coach to win a national championship, Thompson’s influence has long stretched beyond the basketball court. After his retirement, the Washington DC native established the John Thompson Charitable Foundation to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children in the District.
A crowd of several hundred attended the Wednesday night gala, including Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, the head coaches at Syracuse, Duke and North Carolina respectively.
Thompson is among the most admired coaches in the history of college basketball, a fact the Court of Honor Award is yet another testament to.