The number is symbolic. The gesture is heartfelt.
Former Georgetown University basketball star Patrick Ewing, who famously wore No. 33 during his four seasons with the Hoyas, is behind a $3.3 million pledge toward the construction of the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center. The new facility will be located on campus adjacent to McDonough Arena.
The school’s athletic department announced the financial commitment Monday. Long-time sports agent David Falk and his wife Rhonda have partnered with Ewing.
The building is named in honor of the Hall of Fame basketball coach who guided the Hoyas for 27 years, to three Final Four appearances and the 1984 Final Four. Those Final Four trips and national title came with Ewing, who has often talked about the importance of Thompson’s guidance in his personal and professional life.
The four-story, 144,000-square-foot Thompson Athletics Center will include practice courts, team meeting rooms, men’s and women’s basketball coaches’ offices, and weight-training and sports medicine rooms for all varsity athletes.
The new facility also includes a Student-Athlete Academic and Leadership Center, an auditorium, team meeting facilities for varsity programs and a new venue for the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame. The men’s basketball team will continue playing its home games off-campus.
“This foundational gift in recognition of Coach Thompson Jr. will benefit all of our students engaged in intercollegiate athletics for generations to come,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said in a statement. “As the Thompson Athletics Center both reflects and builds upon a longstanding tradition here at Georgetown, we’re deeply grateful for the support and generosity of an extraordinary alumnus, Patrick Ewing, and a friend of the university, David Falk.”
Falk and Thompson have had a business and personal relationship for years. Many Georgetown alums either currently or previously in the NBA, including Ewing and Wizards forward Otto Porter, are represented by Falk.