John Thompson, President Ronald Reagan and Patrick Ewing (L-R) pose for the cover of Sports Illustrated in the Map Room in 1984.

John Thompson, President Ronald Reagan and Patrick Ewing (L-R) pose for the cover of Sports Illustrated in the Map Room in 1984.

As Georgetown University announces their new basketball coach, NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, we take a look back at the university’s basketball era under legendary coach “Big John” Thompson and how it impacted race and sports for decades to come. Thompson broke barriers in race and sports by recruiting inner-city black players, using an all-black starting five and becoming the first black coach to win the NCAA basketball championship. Additionally, he fought to protect and guide his players as Washington, D.C. achieved the title of “murder capital” during the 1980’s war on drugs. We discuss how Thompson and the Hoyas became a point of racial pride larger than any sports arena.

Guests

  • Liz Clarke Reporter, The Washington Post; @lizclarketweet
  • David Aldridge Reporter for Turner Sports; @daldridgetnt

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