Directions Hired in 1972 as the university’s first Black head basketball coach,
Directions Hired in 1972 as the university’s first Black head basketball coach,
Directions Hired in 1972 as the university’s first Black head basketball coach, Thompson began with a team that had won only a handful of games the year before and went on to win nearly 600 for Georgetown until he stepped down in 1999 – the same year he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Well-known as a sports icon, advocate for social justice and his tireless support of players, the coach, affectionately known as “Big John,” encouraged his teams to value both the sport and academics – achieving an impressive 97% graduation rate. He was one of the first Black coaches to head a major collegiate basketball program. Even today, the number of Black coaches makes up less than 20% of the 75 programs in college basketball’s six major conferences. Thompson kept a deflated basketball in his office to help his players understand they would need, at some point, to do something else besides play ball. “Don’t let the sum total of your existence be 8-10 pounds of air,” was one of John Thompson Jr. ‘s more famous quotes. When the NCAA’s Proposition 42 eliminated educational funds for low-income students, Thompson spoke out and took action, bringing the issue to national attention. The basketball legend walked off the court in 1989 before a game against Boston College in protest. Your discussion assignment has several aspects. 1. John Thompson Jr was a leader on many 'change issues'. He was steadfast in his determination to fight on behalf of those he felt didn't have a voice. For this part of the assignment, research and 'dissect' one important issue (from many) that Coach Thompson led a public fight on. What was the issue, what was his 'position' (and why did he feel so strongly). Finally, what was the resolution to the issue? 2. Identify another individual, similar in scope to Coach Thompson, who has had a 'demonstrable' and years long role in fighting for equality and justice on behalf of particular segment of the population. Who is your selection and what issue(s) have they been committed to? What success (change) or progress has their engagement led to? 3. Identify one issue (other than in question # 2) in which you believe sports leaders (or a sport leader) could engage on. What is the issue and why would 'change' on that issue benefit the community and society overall?

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