Dec. 31, 2012
WASHINGTON - It is a time for giving thanks and the members of the Georgetown University men's basketball team understands that they, like many others, have a lot to be thankful for at this time of year.
The Hoyas have been back on campus for a few days following Christmas, practicing and getting ready for the opening of conference play next weekend. On New Year's Eve, the team took a break and visited with youngsters at the Georgetown University Hospital.
After practicing on Monday, Head Coach John Thompson III and his players and staff walked up to the Georgetown University Hospital Concentrated Care Center.
"It's necessary for us to make time to do this," Thompson said. "Our players are fortunate to have the opportunity to go to school here and play basketball. It's important particularly during the holiday season not to just focus on what we have but to brighten up the lives of others."
The team split into three or four groups and visited with young children who are in the midst of hospital stays. The players shook hands, posed for photos and signed autographs.
Thompson, along with sophomore forwards Otto Porter Jr. (Morley, Mo./Scott County Central), Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills), center Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) and Tyler Adams (Brandon, Miss./Brandon) posed for a photo with a young boy whose was wearing a Georgetown hat and shirt and said his dream was to play lacrosse on the Hilltop.
"Once we got up there, you can realize how fortunate you are," Porter said. "We may have been tired from practice and competing, but you see the smiles on the kid's faces and it makes you realize how even just a short visit like this can mean so much to them. It was a really rewarding experience."
The Georgetown men's basketball team also adopted a family for the holiday season from St. Margaret's Church in Washington.
Georgetown (10-1), ranked No. 15 in the latest Associated Press and No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches' polls, opens BIG EAST Conference play on Saturday, Jan. 5 at Marquette. The game tips off at Bradley Center at 2 p.m. and will be shown live on MASN. The game can be heard locally on Sports Talk AM 570.