Allen Iverson, Georgetown legends return to campus for new John Thompson practice facility


It was a star-studded weekend at Georgetown as numerous former basketball legends returned to campus as ground broke on new The Thompson Center.

Georgetown’s new practice facility is expected to be completed in August of 2016 and the $62 millions project is going to be completed through philanthropy. That’s where many of the former Hoyas come in. Patrick Ewing and agent David Falk donated along with Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert and numerous others.

The four-story 144,000-square foot facility will be a huge boost to the Georgetown program and should keep them among the nation’s elite.

But one player returning among the group of legends meant more than the others: former guard Allen Iverson.

Although Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo — who were all present — are all former All-Stars and among the most decorated big men of an era, Iverson’s general presence is rare in the public eye. The 6-foot guard is one of the most electric guards to ever play the game and Iverson making a rare public appearance on behalf of Thompson and Georgetown means a little more than the other guys showing up because those former pros are much more involved.

Iverson spoke to Ben Standig of CSN Washington about his relationship with Thompson and Georgetown.

“(Coach Thompson) means so much to me and means so much to me besides basketball,” Iverson told, “because he saved my life.”

Standig has a great exchange between the former player and coach that perfectly illustrates their relationship:

At a gala in Thompson’s honor Friday night, Iverson told the crowd of former players, alumni and program supporters about Thompson’s initial interest. “(Coach) said it was because of my mom and not my basketball skills –but whatever,” he cracked as laughter filled the ballroom.

Thompson spoke last and as always, had the final say.

“You wouldn’t (be here) if your mom hadn’t said they’re gonna kill my son,” the coach stated with his usual from-the-top-of-the-mountain conviction. “That’s when I decided to take him.”

That’s why Allen Iverson came back to the Hilltop on Friday.

“It’s everything to be here and be a part of this,” Iverson told “(Coach Thompson) is Georgetown. You can’t mention Georgetown without mentioning his name. It’s like peanut butter and jelly. … He gave me an opportunity and a chance at life when nobody else would. I’m just glad to be here and be a part of it.”

Thompson went on to speak about Iverson when addressing a group at the event.

“I’m not coaching for four more wins,” Thompson said, as he fell four wins shy of 600 when he retired. “I don’t care about stats. I’m proud of Allen Iverson. That’s my prodigal son.”

It’s nice to see Allen Iverson in the news for something positive, and involving Georgetown and Thompson.

Patrick Ewing, agent David Falk donate $3.3 million to Georgetown practice facility

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Georgetown is about to break ground on a new four-story, 144,000-square foot facility that will cost $62 million dollars and according to the Washington Post former Georgetown center Patrick Ewing and agent David Falk will donate $3.3 million towards the project.

The John Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center is being built entirely on contributions and will include practice courts and men’s and women’s basketball offices and other meeting facilities. Georgetown breaks ground on the project on September 12th.

Having big-name basketball people in your past certainly helps in this sort of thing and Georgetown’s new practice facility should be a great recruiting tool for the entire athletics department. It also shows the continued influence and power of former Georgetown head coach John Thompson. Not only is the facility being named after him, but Ewing is donating money and Falk is both of their long-time agents.

Ewing wore No. 33 at Georgetown and in the NBA, which is why he is donating $3.3 million for the project. Ewing led Georgetown to the NCAA championship in 1984 and was the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft the following year.

DPS: Crickets and the Klan kept Ewing from becoming a Heel


In 1982, Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan were freshman phenoms, and they ended up playing in the national title game against one another. Ewing for Georgetown, and Jordan for North Carolina. At this point, it’s impossible to imagine either man in a different uniform. Ewing in gray, Jordan in blue.

According to a Thursday interview with Dan Patrick, Ewing seriously considered becoming a Heel. Most recruits who make the trip to hoops-mad Carolina will say the visit sealed the deal. For Ewing, his down-south journey had the opposite effect.

“I was close,” Ewing said. “North Carolina was a very good school, but when I went down there they put me in that Carolina Inn and there was a big Ku Klux Klan rally in North Carolina when I was there. I’m like, ‘You know what, I’m not coming down here.’  At night down in North Carolina it gets pitch black and I hear all the crickets and I’m jumping and I’m like what the heck. So I (decided) I’m going back home.”

Watch the rest of the interview here: