“Hoping That I Made You Proud”: Allen Iverson Pens Emotional Message to Former Coach John Thompson

Published 08/31/2020, 11:21 AM EDT

Before Allen Iverson made his name resonate in the NBA, he excelled as a college basketball player. Iverson played for two years with Georgetown under legendary coach John Thompson. The death of Thompson has shocked the basketball community, and tributes are pouring in for the former Hoyas head coach. 

Allen Iverson was offered a full scholarship from the Georgetown Hoyas and entered his rookie year in 1994. ‘The Answer’ declared his eligibility for the NBA draft in 1996, going down as one of the very few Georgetown players to have left the college team early for the NBA.

43-year-old Iverson posted a heartfelt tribute to his former coach John Thompson on Twitter. “Thanks For Saving My Life Coach. I’m going to miss you, but I’m sure that you are looking down on us with a big smile. I would give anything just for one more phone call from you only to hear you say, ‘Hey MF’, then we would talk about everything except basketball….” Iverson wrote. 

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Iverson built a career for himself under the guidance of John Thompson at Georgetown. Thus, he had a lot of emotional attachment towards him, and he helped in shaping the player’s life. “I will always see your face in my mind, hoping that I made you proud,” he mentioned in his tweet. 

“He gave me a chance” – Allen Iverson on John Thompson

Allen Iverson got into trouble in his high school days. A bowling alley altercation sentenced him to jail, and he had to complete his senior year in a school for at-risk students. Therefore, he had to get into a good college which would recognize his basketball talents and guide him on the right path. 

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That’s when John Thompson and Georgetown stepped into his life. In a month-old interview with ‘The Players’ Tribune,’  Allen Iverson looked back on how coach Thompson saved his life by grooming his skills. 

“My mom went to John Thompson and said, can you save my son’s life? He gave a chance to save my life,” Iverson said. “He always says that it was because of my mom that he took me. But it had to have something to do with the talent level. It had to,” he laughed. 

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Allen Iverson is one among the hundreds of players that John Thompson groomed. He coached the Hoyas for 27 years, winning an NCAA championship and producing several legendary players along the way. 

John Thompson was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 for his incredible contribution to the game. As the head coach of the Hoyas, he registered a 596-239 record to mark his name as one of the greatest coaches ever. 

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Arjun Athreya

2181 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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