Dr. Armstrong Memorializes John Thompson
Coach John Thompson Jr., was not only the first Black coach to win a national championship in college basketball, but also a fierce advocate for Black and low-income student-athletes.
On Monday, news broke that Thompson, who served as head coach of the men’s basketball team at Georgetown University from 1972–99, had died at the age of 78. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Thompson led Georgetown to the NCAA Championship in 1984 and two other appearances in the Final Four.
“He realized this had an inordinate impact on Black student-athletes and poor student-athletes,” said Dr. Ketra Armstrong, professor of sport management and director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity in Sport at the University of Michigan. “He said, ‘This is wrong and something has to change.’ He stood tall for the conditions that were disproportionately impacting the Black community.
“Not only was he successful on the court, but he also had a huge impact on social justice,” she added. “He was bold in his conviction and his consciousness. He was a Black man without apology and that’s what we all appreciated.”
Full article on the Diverse: Issues In Higher Education website.