Hoya Hoop Club Blog

The Blue & Gray Forever

Georgetown University and a Jesuit education are about traditions. Before attending Georgetown University I was a student at Georgetown Prep. Prep had been part of GU until the early 20th century when it moved to its present campus in North Bethesda, Maryland. The first graduates of GU were also graduates of Georgetown Prep. At Prep, I studied Latin in the Jesuit tradition. The Jesuits are one of the largest orders in the Catholic Church founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish nobleman. The Jesuits are guided by the Seven Principles of Ignatian Spirituality, e.g. AMDG and Cura Personalis. Other traditions are "Men and Women for Others," and "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano," (a sound mind in a sound body). At Prep I often heard about other traditions at GU. I also began to hear about coach John Thompson, Jr. building a basketball powerhouse on the Hilltop with players such as Al Dutch, Mike Frazier, and Derrick Jackson. They had made the NIT and NCAA tournaments during that time. At my graduation from Prep, a new President at GU, Father Timothy Healey, gave a stirring commencement address. Father Healey would be my President at GU and would help move Georgetown from an outstanding regional Catholic University to international prominence. His speech is still a model for me today of both eloquence and delivery. He was a great linguist, and student of Shakespeare. I still remember him telling us that any college education worth anything would make you challenge every belief that you had. When I first entered GU I attended a reception at the Alumni House for students from the Washington, D.C. area. I still remember walking from there to the Healey building and seeing the statue of John Carroll, the founder of the Jesuit order in the United States and Georgetown University.

During my formative years as a young basketball player and fan, I attended Morgan Wooten's Washington Metropolitan Area Basketball Camp at St. John's College High School on Military Road. At the camp I got to see many players like Adrian Dantley, Austin Carr, Bill Bradley, Wes Unseld and Pistol Pete Maravich. However, the highlight for me was always the frequent visits by long-time Washingtonian and legendary former Boston Celtic coach Red Auerbach. Red also did small half-time segments for the NBA then called "Red on Roundball." Red was always entertaining and would share with us much of the history and traditions of both Washington basketball and the NBA. One of his former players, was a backup to Bill Russell, and is one of two hall of fame coaches to coach men's basketball at Georgetown University: John Thompson, Jr. (The other Hall of Fame coach was Elmer Ripley.) Coach Thompson has always been very complimentary of his former coach. Red was a frequent attendee at Georgetown games, until his death this past year. I was glad to see coach JT III bring the current Hoya team to pay their respects to Coach Auerbach at his passing. I can still remember Red on TV lighting up a cigar and analyzing Georgetown's upcoming championship game against the University of Houston in 1984.

My time at Georgetown (Generation Ewing) was an exciting time that brought the formation of the BIG EAST Conference and three appearances in the National Championship final game including the National Championship in 1984. Georgetown was known as "The Beast of the East" back then. ESPN and Dick Vitale were just starting out. Georgetown would win the first BIG EAST tournament and would dominate the tournament in New York's Madison Square Garden through the 1980's. Everyone around the country was wearing Georgetown jackets and other apparel. We were the team that everyone wanted to beat. They would also fear us. I still remember one player upon discovering that they would play Georgetown in the NCAA tournament, saying that he was having nightmares about playing Georgetown and Patrick Ewing. Our T-shirts would say: "Hoya Paranoia--Catch It."

As we approach the 100th anniversary celebration of Georgetown Basketball I have had a chance to reflect on all of the traditions at Georgetown. John Reagan's web site < href= "www.hoyasaxa.com"> www.hoyasaxa.com contains a wonderful history project where I have learned a great deal about the other generations of Georgetown Basketball. I am very proud to know that our men's basketball alumni include not only NBA stars like Pat Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo, and Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, but numerous other famous men like former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and congressman Henry Hyde to name just a few. John Thompson's deflated basketball is a constant reminder to our student-athletes about the importance of their education.

When I look back at my time as a Hoya basketball fan, I see the traditions of excellence continuing. Coach JT III has many of the same qualities as his famous father, and yet he is very different in many respects. Both understand the big picture for student-athletes, and have a great appreciation for the importance of teamwork. I still remember meeting JT III when he came to Georgetown. It was difficult for me knowing that the new coach was a few years younger than I was. Most of my life the older Thompson had been the only coach I had known. Both men grew up in Washington, D.C. but in very different times. John Thompson, Jr. was a star at Carroll High School during segregation in D.C., prior to the death of Martin Luther King. Coach Thompson would later star at Providence College and for a few years with the Boston Celtics. Washington, D.C. and the world were very different at that time. JT III was a graduate of Gonzaga High School and Princeton University. He would have great success at Princeton his alma mater before taking the job on the Hilltop. The elder Thompson would sometimes have a practice where no basketballs would be used. The players would learn about the importance of moving without the ball, and defense was always first. If you watch JT III's team practice, you will still see GU's intensity on defense. However, you also see the emphasis on 3-point shooting, screens, back door cuts, etc. The "Princeton offense" has truly become the "Georgetown offense."

At the recent Georgetown-Pittsburgh game, I found myself staying in the same hotel as the Georgetown team. I am so pleased that JT III has kept some traditions like having his players wear a jacket and tie on all road trips. I am proud of the way other teams always comment on how well we are dressed. It was a great thrill for me to see the team. After a tough loss it was nice to see Coach Broadus wave acknowledgement to me. It is nice to see how he appreciates the support of the alumni and other fans at the games. I was further touched to have Coach Robert Burke and JT III himself come down to the lobby to say hello for a minute that evening. It was difficult for me to know what to say after a tough loss to an outstanding Pittsburgh team. It reminded me of Coach Thompson insisting that his team stay and watch Villanova get their trophies after the 1985 championship game. I was proud then to see our players show such class and dignity during one of the most difficult times for any athlete. It is often said that our dominating team in the 1980's was built on the will of one man, John Thompson, Jr. I still remember Dick Vitale saying that in his opinion the program would die with the retirement of Coach Thompson. It is great to see that he was indeed wrong. Coach JT III is building a Program of Excellence that will last forever--Georgetown Forever. His visit with me, his relationship with his players and the student body are examples of what a genuine person he and his coaching staff are. Today's Georgetown players are heir to a proud tradition.

I cannot wait until the Marquette game and the 100th anniversary Gala. It is a once in a lifetime chance to see and pay respect to the many members of the Georgetown basketball team that have brought such enjoyment to my life. Whenever I walk up the Hill to Healey circle and see the statue of John Carroll and the Healey building I get as excited as that first time I came to Georgetown as a student. I can still hear and feel the crowd that gathered after our NCAA championship win in 1984 over Houston. I can still hear Coach Thompson making that famous speech saying:

"I told you last year that if I die and I can't go to heaven, then they can take my body back to Georgetown. Well, I'm here to tell you that I ain't dead yet."
-Coach John Thompson Jr., 1985

I long for the day that we will gather on campus again to honor another championship team at Georgetown.

"The National Championship flag will fly in this building."
-Coach John Thompson Jr., HBO, 2005

I know that we are again becoming a premier program in college basketball. In this the 100th anniversary of Georgetown Basketball year, we know that we have an authentic one of a kind program of great student-athletes. Names like: Laughna, Adrion, Barry, Gigante, Hyde, Jones, Tagliabue, Riley, Jackson, Escherick, Duren, Shelton, Floyd, Mourning, Mutombo, Blaylock, Martin, Dalton, Iverson, Brown, Wingate, McDonald, Burton, Sweetney, Jackson, McDonald, Tillmon, Smith, Bowman, Cook and Williams to name a few are part of our on-going tradition of excellence. In reading my partner John Hawkes blogs I am glad to see that I am not the only one who has certain traditions, e.g. wearing certain neckties the day of an important game, or wearing my #33 Patrick Ewing jersey, my #3 Allen Iverson jersey, my Hoya game shorts, or my Reggie and the Miracles hat. President Al Bozzo often accuses me of having more Hoya apparel than anyone on the planet. I am not sure if that is true. Other traditions of mine include hitting the Tombs, shooting free throws in front of McDonough, and getting a sandwich from the world famous Wisemillers.

I want to thank Al Bozzo (Generation Ewing), Mike Karam (Generation Laughna), and everyone on the Hoya Hoop Club Board for inviting me to serve the last few years on the Hoya Hoop Club Board. It has been a truly wonderful experience that has brought me to a new level being a Georgetown Basketball fan. In the Jesuit tradition of Men and Women for Others and Cura Personalis it has allowed me the privilege of serving others. I want to also thank many of the new members of the Hoya Hoop Club Board for this experience also, especially my road trip partners Chris Lucey and Payne Miller both from Generation Burton, and my fellow blog writer John Hawkes. We just got a big win at Louisville last night. We now have the Marquette game next. There are no easy games in the Big East. You have to come ready to play every night.

I hope to see many of you at the 100th anniversary Gala.

We are Georgetown!

The Blue and Gray Forever!

Dr. Thomas A. Wong (C'82)
Asst Vice-President Hoya Hoop Club
Generation Ewing

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January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 19
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool
January 20
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 21
2:00 PM
Depaul
McDonough Arena

CBSsn
January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 26
7:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 28
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS2
February 2
6:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 3
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
Watch
February 3
12:00 PM
UMBC
Catonsville, Md.
February 3
2:00 PM
Seton Hall/Providence
Berkeley (N.J.) Aquatic Club
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
2:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 9
TBA
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
4:00 PM
Seton Hall
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
106.7 WJFK-FM
February 10
3:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cooper Field
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 11
2:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Arlington, Va.
February 13
3:00 PM
High Point
Cooper Field
February 16
8:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
February 16
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
1:00 PM
Robert Morris
Moon Township, Pa.
February 17
3:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
3:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
February 18
10:00 AM
Navy
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 21
6:30 PM
Xavier
Capital One Arena

FS1/FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 21
10:00 AM
Day 1
Geneva, Ohio
February 22
10:00 AM
Day 2
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
11:00 AM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 23
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 23
10:00 AM
Day 3
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
12:00 PM
Providence
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 24
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 24
10:00 AM
Day 4
Geneva, Ohio
February 24
12:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 24
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
2:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
February 25
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 25
11:00 AM
William & Mary
Williamsburg, Va.
February 26
7:00 PM
Marquette
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 27
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
February 27
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Cooper Field
February 28
3:30 PM
Johns Hopkins
Cooper Field
March 3
TBA
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.

FOX
TBD
March 3
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 3
1:00 PM
Hofstra
Hempstead, N.Y.
March 3
1:00 PM
Delaware
Cooper Field
March 3
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 3
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
11:30 AM
Dartmouth
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
12:00 PM
Nova Southeastern
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
4:00 PM
Northeastern
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
March 6
TBA
Lynn University
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 7
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 8
10:00 AM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 8
12:00 PM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 9
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
2:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 10
12:00 PM
Hobart
Cooper Field
March 10
3:00 PM
Penn
Cooper Field
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 11
12:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 14
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
4:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
10:00 AM
Middle Tennessee State
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
March 17
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
March 17
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
March 18
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 21
4:00 PM
Navy
Shirley Povich Field
March 21
3:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 21
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 23
5:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 23
11:00 AM
Marquette
Washington, D.C.
March 23
TBA
Rhode Island
Washington, D.C.
March 24
3:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 24
11:00 AM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
March 24
12:00 PM
Florida
Cooper Field
March 24
1:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.
March 24
2:00 PM
Boston University
Washington, D.C.
March 24
All Day
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
March 24
All Day
Delaware
Washington, D.C.
March 25
1:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 25
All Day
Princeton
Washington, D.C.
March 27
3:00 PM
Delaware State
Shirley Povich Field
March 28
2:30 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.
March 28
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
March 29
6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 30
4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 31
1:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 31
12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
March 31
12:00 PM
Denver
Cooper Field
March 31
TBA
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 3
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Hanover, Md.
April 4
3:00 PM
Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Md.
April 4
11:00 AM
St. Francis Brooklyn
Washington, D.C.
April 4
2:00 PM
Denver
Denver, Colo.
April 6
3:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 6
3:00 PM
George Washington
GW Tennis Center
April 6
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 7
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 7
12:00 PM
Butler
Cooper Field
April 7
3:00 PM
Providence
Cooper Field
April 7
All Day
Yale & MIT
Cambridge, Mass.
April 7
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 8
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 8
All Day
Harvard & Columbia
Cambridge, Mass.
April 11
3:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 13
3:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
2:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
April 14
2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Nashville, Tenn.
April 14
TBA
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 14
All Day
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 14
All Day
Stanford
Redwood Shores, Calif.
April 15
1:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.