It was impossible for me and many others not to admire John Thompson as a basketball coach and human being. He walked with great dignity, spoke with such honesty, gave no quarter to racists, and took obvious pride in his African American roots. He didn’t mince words and he loved his players who in turned loved him back and played for him with passion and energy. In his coaching heyday, the Big East and his Georgetown Hoyas were “Big.” No other conference and no other team had such stature and commanded such attention. Both were electric. At a time when racial tensions were high his close friendship with Dean Smith, the legendary white coach of North Carolina, who early on recruited Black players, didn’t go unnoticed. He will be missed and for his players, like Patrick Ewing, who now coaches Georgetown, it must be a very sad day.