Georgetown Basketball: June 1999 News Archive
Big East Briefs has posted excerpts of an interview with high school recruit Wesley Wilson at its web site. The 6-10 Wilson is awaiting final grades that will determine if he will be playing for the Hoyas this fall. According to the article, Wilson needs a 2.5 in his spring courses at Maine Central Institute to qualify, and also retook the SAT in the past three weeks.
The latest issue of Big East Briefs' printed newsletter rated Georgetown's incoming class as the top-ranked recruiting group in the Big East. Georgetown was ranked #1, followed closely by Connecticut and Notre Dame.
It's now official--John Thompson is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The vote was announced Wednesday, welcoming Thompson and four other nominees--including Boston Celtics forward Kevin McHale--to the Hall of Fame for induction ceremonies October 1. Thompson will ask former Celtics coach Red Auerbach to introduce him at the ceremonies, telling the Washington Post that "He's been a tremendous influence on my life, even when he didn't realize it. I would be extremely honored if he would do this for me."
Here are links to various articles appearing Thursday morning on the selection:
And for those of you wondering, Thompson is not the first Georgetown coach in the Hall of Fame, nor the second. In fact, he is the third Hoya basketball coach in the Hall of Fame. Elmer Ripley, who coached the Hoyas in three different stints between 1927 and 1949, was elected in 1972. In 1995, Buddy Jeannette was selected to the Hall following his service as a player and coach in the early days of the NBA. Jeannette coached the Hoyas from 1952 to 1956.
The series of retirements in the Georgetown athletics family in 1999 continued last week with the announcement that academic coordinator and assistant to the athletic director Mary Fenlon will retire on July 31. here's the link to the Washington Post report.
Fenlon was a teacher at Washington's St. Anthony HS when John Thompson arrived at that school in 1966 to begin his coaching career. Thompson hired Fenlon to take the new role of academic coordinator when he arrived at Georgetown, a position virtually unheard of in college athletics in 1972. Fenlon's role in the overall success of the program didn't get the headlines, but made a significant impact.
Here's a link to a Dallas Morning News column that extols what Fenlon meant to the Georgetown system in this era of hand-wringing over freshmen ineligibility.
Congratulations to John Thompson for a nomination to the 1999 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame...now let's see him get in this year! Thompson's notable omission in 1998 drew a fair amount of consternation from fans and the press, even from members of the Hall of Fame executive board. While the 1998-99 college season didn't add much to his overall record, this would be a timely recognition of his achievements both within and for the game itself.
Thompson still needs 75% (18 of 24 voters) to be elected, and the spoilers out there who blocked him last fall could get another opportunity to ruin things. On the coaches' side of the ballot are DeMatha's Morgan Wootten and Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan, who was coaching college ball when John Thompson was in junior high school. All three are deserving candidates, but as few as one coach might be selected, maybe two, but not three. This ought to be John Thompson's moment and those 24 voters ought to know it.
Leonard Shapiro's column in the Washington Post notes that WTEM-AM and John Thompson may be extending their radio relationship. The idea of John Thompson hosting a radio show was greeted with plenty of skepticism in the usual quarters, but the two-week run originally scheduled for the NCAA tournament has continued into June, exceeding expectations and boosting ratings at the all-sports station. Thompson's segement within the Al Koken/Doc Walker timeslot can be heard vis Broadcast.com weekdays on (or about) 10:30 AM EDT.
The NCAA is investigating the possibility of declaring freshmen ineligible for men's college basketball in an attempt to combat the flow of players heading to the NBA.
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