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Georgetown Basketball and D.C.'s African-American Community, A Rich Tradition

10/20/2011, 10:05 a.m.

This year's Hoyas team is led by John Thompson III or "JT3", the son of the legendary "Big John." Thompson III grew up in the District and played his high school basketball at Gonzaga. In 1984, The Washington Post named him first team All-Metropolitan, which is a collection of the area's best players. Georgetown hired Thompson III in 2004 to be its head coach. He came to Georgetown from his alma mater, Princeton University, where he had been the head coach for four years.

Last Friday, October 14, the Georgetown Athletic Department sponsored its annual Midnight Madness Celebration. This is an event that brings students, fans and community together as they meet the 2011-2012 men's and women's basketball teams.

The event kicked off around 8 p.m. with performances from the Hoya Drum Line, the Georgetown Step Team, GU Juwani and Groove Theory. Up next was the Hoya Shooting Stars Contest involving a blend of former players and current players. The women's team was introduced along with head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. Prior to the introduction of the men's team, Patrick Ewing Jr., was joined by his parents for the unveiling of his New Orleans Hornets Jersey, displayed on the Georgetown Wall of Fame. The men's team was introduced, followed by head coach John Thompson III. The program concluded with a dunk contest which featured current players and alums.

So, the time has come. We sit on the verge of another exciting season of Georgetown Basketball. One that promises great opportunities, goals, and competition. Once again, the team will be led by an African-American coach, feature lots of local African-American players, and play against some of the best teams in the country. Those are certainly three elements that the African-American community can get behind. As we participate in the journey, let us not forget this great legacy that was started some 40 years ago. It's a legacy that continues today, and we should do all we can to protect the tradition, and enhance the legacy.