Jamaican-born Patrick Ewing has coached Georgetown University Hoyas to win the Big East basketball tournament championship for 2021. Ewing is the only individual to win as both player and coach for the same school, and he is the first person in Big East history to be named Most Outstanding Player in a Big East Tournament championship team and to coach a team to a Big East tournament title. With the win, Georgetown automatically qualifies for the NCAA championship competition known as “March Madness.” Ewing won a national championship at Georgetown in the 1980s under Coach John Thompson Jr. He has served as the head coach at his alma mater since 2017.
Ewing coached the Hoyas to a 73-48 victory over the Creighton Blue Jays at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, March 13, 2021. The championship game was played with only a few dozen Georgetown fans in the audience due to COVID-19 restrictions, but they enthusiastically chanted “This Is Our House!” as their team prepared to receive the championship trophy. Ewing, a former center with the New York Knicks, spent 15 years of his career playing home games at the Garden in the 1980s and 1990s. His jersey hangs from the venue’s rafters, and his number 33 was retired by the Knicks in 2003.
Georgetown began its run to the championship with a victory over the top tournament seed, Villanova. The Hoyas came into the tournament as an 8-seed, and how the team will be ranked for the NCAA is as yet unknown. The team was not likely to make “March Madness” without winning the Big East tournament, but now has an automatic bid for the NCAA competition.
Patrick Ewing was born in Kingston in 1962. He excelled at cricket and soccer in his childhood, and at the age of 12, he moved to the United States to join his family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He learned to play basketball at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and became one of the best high school players in the US.
He played center at Georgetown for four years, and in three of those years, the team reached the NCAA Championship Game. In 2008, ESPN named him the 16th-greatest college basketball player of all time. At Georgetown, Ewing was one of the first college players to start on the varsity team during his freshman year. In that year, he led the Hoyas to the second Big East Tournament title in the school’s history.
In 1993, he led the NBA with 789 defensive rebounds, was in the top ten of field goal percentages eight times, and top ten in rebounds per game and total rebounds eight times as well. In 1999, he became just the 10th player in NBA history to record 22,000 points and 10,000 rebounds. He spent 17 years in the NBA, playing mostly for the New York Knicks. During that time, he was an 11-time all-star and was named to seven All-NBA teams. Ewing won Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1992 as a member of the US men’s Olympic basketball teams.
In 1996, he was chosen as one of the top 50 players in the history of the NBA. He has been inducted twice into the Basketball Hall of Fame and was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame as a member of the 2009 “Dream Team.”
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