June 27, 2014
WASHINGTON - Photo Gallery
On Friday morning, Georgetown University Head Men's Basketball Coach John Thompson III along with past and present members of the team helped the Starlight Children's Foundation (www.starlight.org) make a dream come true for Mohini Samani, a 15-year old London, England native.
Samani, a cancer survivor, who spent the week touring Washington, D.C. with her family spent the morning of her final day in the United States on campus at Georgetown, as she was first introduced to Coach Thompson and then to current Hoyas' Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends), David Allen (Dallas, Texas/Dallas Baptist) and Reggie Cameron (Hackensack, N.J./Hudson Catholic), as well as three of the team's incoming freshmen, Tre Campbell (Washington, D.C./St. John's College HS), Isaac Copeland (Raleigh, N.C./Brewster Academy)) and Trey Mourning (Miami, Fla./Ransome Everglades). She also met several Hoya greats, including Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, current Boston Celtic Jeff Green, current Detroit Piston Greg Monroe and current Washington Wizard Otto Porter, who were on hand for the occasion.
"Having the opportunity to meet Mohini was a special experience for all of us," Thompson said. "The way she carries herself with all that she has gone through and continues to go through is inspiring and it probably means just as much for our guys to spend time with her and her family, as it does for her to spend time with all of us."
Mohini's bright smile and easy laughter lightened the room, as she and her family asked questions to the past and present Hoyas about the rigors of being a student-athlete and the academic coursework at Georgetown. In the exchange, the Hoyas learned a little about her life experiences, seeing first-hand the benefit of her positive attitude. They conversed about their dietary habits and what it takes to keep their bodies in peak condition.
Green, a seven-year NBA veteran, spoke to Mohini in detail about how his eating habits have changed over time and how it was the best way to lengthen his career, but adding, "you have to take it one year at a time and make the best of it." Green's words may have not found a more understanding audience than Mohini and her family.
Georgetown University was the last stop on her one week tour of the Nation's Capital, as she made her way to campus on Friday morning. The family spent an hour touring campus, before arriving at McDonough Arena to meet with the team.
Following the meeting, Coach Thompson and the team presented Mohini with two gift bags and posed for pictures with her and her family. Her tour of McDonough was not quite done, as she was led down into the gym and had a chance to sit down and converse with John Thompson Jr., the retired Hall of Fame basketball coach, as well as Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer Lorry Michel.
"It's been a real joy coming to Georgetown," said Bertie Way, the Chairman of Starlight Children's Foundation. "Looking at the buildings it looks just like you'd imagine an American university to be and the opportunity to meet the team was awesome. They all seem like lovely, regular guys."
Starlight originally launched as a wish granting organization and rapidly expanded its services to include an extensive menu of unique, groundbreaking and trendsetting family-centered programs. Starlight has maintained its leadership in helping families with hospitalized children cope with the challenges of a medical journey through programs such as Starbright World®, the first-ever online social network for teens with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions and their siblings, and the newly debuted Starlight Wish Lists, a cutting edge technology platform that enables donors to fill specific unmet hospital needs directly and efficiently.For more than 30 years, Starlight has been a leading global charity improving the life and health of kids and families. We partner with experts and innovators in healthcare, entertainment and technology to create a unique blend of family-centered services from hospital to home. Today, Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities and major pediatric hospitals around the world, serving millions of children every year.