Aug. 28, 2014
WASHINGTON - On their birthday, many people expect to receive gifts. On Thursday, Aug. 28, former Georgetown University men's basketball All-American Jeff Green (C'12), who turns 28-years-old today, announced that he will make a $1 million gift to the athletics department for the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center.
The building is named in honor of Hall of Fame Men's Basketball Coach John Thompson Jr., who guided the Hoyas for 27 years and influenced generations both on and off the hardwood.
As a junior, Green led Georgetown to the Final Four in 2007 and was selected with the No. 5 pick in the National Basketball Association Draft. Determined to finish his degree, Green continued attending classes during the offseason. He earned his degree in English, with a minor in theology, from Georgetown in 2012.
"I'm very fortunate to be in a position to give back to the University and to the program that has done so much for me," Green said. "The environment created by Coach (John) Thompson III and his staff helped shape me both academically and athletically. Georgetown and Georgetown Basketball is at my core and is part of who I am.
"Georgetown athletes are going to get the chance to work and develop in a world-class, state-of-the-art facility. The Thompson Athletics Center will be the best in the country."
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Thompson Athletics Center is scheduled for September 12, 2014. Green's contribution is part of the $62 million project that will be completely supported through philanthropy.
"This generous gift from Jeff will help to enhance the experience of many future Georgetown student-athletes," Head Coach John Thompson III said. "Jeff's commitment to our school and to our program speaks not only to his experiences as a student and an athlete here, but gives a small glimpse into who he is as a person. We're very fortunate to have Jeff Green represent this institution."
The four-story, 144,000-square-foot Thompson Athletics Center will be constructed adjacent to McDonough Arena and include practice courts, team meeting rooms, men's and women's basketball coaches' offices, and weight-training and sports medicine rooms for all varsity athletes. The new facility also includes a Student-Athlete Academic and Leadership Center, an auditorium, team meeting facilities for varsity programs and a new venue for the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame.
"We are very grateful to Jeff for this donation, which will help to continue Georgetown's tradition of excellence in men's basketball, both on the floor and in the classroom," Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed said. "Jeff is not only one of the legendary names from our men's basketball program, but he embodies all that it means to be a Hoya."
Green, who plays for the Boston Celtics now, helped to guide the Hoyas to the 2007 Final Four, the 2007 BIG EAST Conference Championship and three postseason appearances. He was an Associated Press All-America selection in 2007, the same year he was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year, All-BIG EAST First Team and BIG EAST Tournament MVP.
John Thompson Jr.'s name is synonymous with success. From 1972 to 1999, he compiled 596 wins, the most of any coach in the history of Georgetown University and the magnitude of his achievements is undeniable.
On the court, he amassed league-leading records against all BIG EAST Conference opponents (233-122) and captured 13 BIG EAST Championships, seven regular season titles and six tournament championships. Thompson's Hoya teams earned 24-consecutive invitations to postseason play, appeared in three NCAA Final Fours (1982, 1984 and 1985) and won the NCAA Championship in 1984.
Off the court, he inspired his players to pursue their degrees and Thompson ended his tenure with a 97 percent graduation rate, while 26 of his players were drafted by the National Basketball Association, including eight in the first round.