- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Georgetown men’s basketball coach John Thompson III confirmed yesterday his wife is battling breast cancer.

Monica Thompson, 38, underwent surgery Friday, but the family has decided to keep any further details of her illness private.

“My wife has cancer. Has it been difficult? Yes,” said the second-year Georgetown coach, who explained his wife’s illness was discovered the day before the team’s season-opening win at Navy on Nov. 18. “Everybody has been very supportive and great, and we really appreciate that. … You just keep going.”

The Thompsons met as undergraduates at Princeton and have three children — Morgan (7), John (4) and Matthew (2).

In his radio show Monday, Hall of Fame coach John Thompson II mentioned the illness when referencing his daughter-in-law’s strength. The elder Thompson marveled at the fact the typically energetic Monica served Thanksgiving dinner to relatives and the entire Georgetown team on the eve of her surgery.

Monica’s surgery occurred just hours before the Hoyas (2-1) dropped their home opener to Vanderbilt (68-61) on Saturday. And given the obvious shift in his current priorities and emotional energies, the coach was asked yesterday whether he considered taking a temporary leave of absence.

“That’s never even been discussed,” said Thompson, who like his father is an intensely private and stoic individual.

Georgetown faces a pair of challenging road games over the next week, going to Oregon (3-0) on Saturday and then traveling to No. 12 Illinois (6-0) on Thursday.

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