Dec 6, 2003 Brandon Bowman leads balanced Hoya attack as Georgetown routs Davidson 71-53 at home. After the Big East Tournament in 2003 there was much doubt as to the future of the Big East conference. The ACC's recruitment of Miami and Virginia Tech left the Big East Conference with a large void of football powers. There was also the eventual defection of Boston College and the even the rumors of Syracuse going to the ACC. To make matters worse, Mike Sweetney entered the NBA draft, and former Montrose Christian backcourt stars Tony Bethel and Drew Hall transferred. The Hoyas did have some solid players in Gerald Riley, Courtland Freeman, and Ashanti Cook, but there was the threat of Brandon Bowman transferring that would have left the Hoyas without any size in the frontcourt. I was having dinner in the Tombs that summer and gave my waitor the good news that Brandon had decided to return to the team. He jumped for joy at the news. The return of Mr. Bowman and the eventual survival of the Big East conference was cause for celebration on the Hilltop. Brandon was one of the few Hoya players to have grown several inches after matriculating at Georgetown. Mr. Bowman would go on to finish his career on the Hilltop leading the team into the JT III era. On this Homecoming weekend Georgetown Basketball fans owe a great deal of debt to Mr. Brandon Bowman. We hope to see you in an NBA uniform in the Verizon Center again hearing the intro of "Brandon Bow-Bow-Bow Bowman!" We are Georgetown! Enjoy Homecoming Weekend!
Dec 13, 1980: Hoyas down GW Colonials on the road, 84-82 in double OT! After the loss of 4 year former Dunbar HS stars John Duren, and Craig Shelton there was the big question of where the rebounds would come from. With the arrival of highly-touted point guard 6-5 uptown Freddie Brown from the Bronx, New York there was little doubt the Hoyas would be well stocked at guard. After all there was All-American Eric "Sleepy" Floyd and super swingman Eric Smith. The suprise of the season was freshman defensive star Gene Smith from nearby McKinley Tech. Gene would lead the Hoyas' use of a 3-guard lineup for most of the year, with an inside-your shirt defense not seen since the days of Mike Riley. Yes, the Hoyas would have trouble rebounding, but this was an exciting team that brought excitement to McDonough Arena. Before the coming of Patrick Ewing to the Hilltop, this Hoya team would take John Thompson's signature pressure defense to another level. On this date in the Hoyas last meeting with cross-town rival GW, the defense would lead Georgetown to victory in a very sloppy game. As the legendary Boston Celtic coach would often say, "Defense wins Championships." We are Georgetown!
The JT III Foundation fosters community-based charities that serve at-risk families with a primary focus on education and health care. This past Friday, I made it through the work week preparing with other doctors for the flu season. I then headed for the JT III Foundation benefit dinner at the Ronald Reagan building. It was wonderful seeing so many Hoyas, from President DeGioia, and his wife Theresa, to other WJA and Georgetown alumni, staff, and volunteers. We heard moving talks from coach JT III and his wife Monica, WJA President Bill Whitaker, and Honorary Chair Sheila Johnson. One of the evenings highlights was hearing the final remarks from WJA Class of 2006 Valedictorian, and current Georgetown Prep student Blair Meek. He gave a moving talk on his WJA experience and what it means to live the Jesuit mission of "Men and Women for Others." Master of Ceremonies Leon Harris from WJLA-TV even expressed his concern that Blair would soon be after his job! It was good to see many of the former Hoya players like Jeff Green, Tyler Crawford, and Jonathan Wallace there to support the foundation. Monica Thompson, and Coach JT III deserve a great deal of credit for the tremendous work their Foundation is doing for the youth and families of the District of Columbia.
After the evening I rushed home to get some sleep, and packed my bags and laptop for Turkey Thicket Park. The JT III Foundation sponsored their third annual community festival. The entire team came out to put on a basketball clinic and meet with the children and families from the community. I provided an education table with materials on ocular health, concentrating on glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. I enjoyed meeting many people including Councilman Harry James from Ward 5. We had a great time as the weather could not have been more ideal. We finished up the afternoon with some of the attendees and players dancing up a storm, led by Austin Freeman, Henry Sims, and Greg Monroe.
I next packed my bags for Gonzaga HS to see my Alma Mater Georgetown Prep battle the Eagles of Gonzaga. Unfortunately, Prep lost on a 27 yard FG with no time remaining on the clock. It was a great game though, and the money supports the WJA. I remembered President DeGioia telling me the night before, that both the football teams from Prep and Gonzaga attended a barbecue and Mass on Friday on the campus of Georgetown University. My how times have changed!
After the game I headed out New York Avenue to Route 50 meeting the GU Maryland Alumni Association for their crab feast at Mike's Crab House in Riva, Md. When I got the invite from fellow Hoya Derrek Lawson I just could not turn it out. What a great weekend it was supporting the JT III Foundation and the WJA Academy! It was special! Hoya Saxa!
P.S. To get a glimpse of a day at the Washington Jesuit Academy go to:
Just yesterday I took the Amtrak to New York's Penn Station, and walked up 7th Avenue to my hotel room at the Doubletree Times Square. I was there for a day business meeting, but thought about that game on November 22, 1995 where the Hoyas crushed an outstanding nationally ranked Georgia Tech team 94-72 in the Pre-Season NIT. Indeed it was a sold out MSG crowd that came to see Allen Iverson, the fastest man from baseline to baseline. Not since the days of Alonzo Mourning had the Hoyas climbed to as high as #2 in the national rankings. In fact, George Michael on the Sports Machine was touting the Hoyas to rise to #1 by the end of the week. Alas the Arizona Wildcats, behind the slowdown tactics of Lute Olsen, were able to upset the Hoyas in the final preventing Georgetown's rise to the #1 ranking. Yet on this night, the athletic backcourt of Allen Iverson and Victor Paige put on a show in front of Macy's window. This Hoya team would finish the season with a #4 national ranking and would be one of the most exciting teams to wear the blue and grey.
As I walked down 42nd Street to my board meeting I kept thinking whether or not I should attend the Jimmy V Classic in December against #15 ranked Butler. As I passed Bryant Park, I ran into my friend and fellow member of the GU Board of Governors Class of 2008, Caragh Moynihan. We had a brief chat as I walked across Bryant Park to my new favorite restaurant, Szechuan Gourmet. As I walked across the Park I realized they were having a Victoria's Secret model show. As I boarded the Amtrak this morning on my way back to D.C. I realized that I should seriously consider attending the Jimmy V Classic. There is nothing like a college basketball game at MSG in "The City."
December 6, 1979: Georgetown defeats Indiana 60-54 in Landover, Maryland. People forget that before the Ewing years, the Hoyas typically had two big games in December. We often played Maryland as well as another high profile team in the month of December. Indeed this Hoya victory helped propel GTown to a #12 final ranking. 1979 is usually remembered as the year Magic Johnson and MSU defeated Larry Bird and Indiana State. However, this game was indeed a coaching masterpiece as JT Jr. battled another future Hall of Famer: Bob Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoyas were led by former Dunbar stars Craig Shelton, and John Duren as well as Eric Smith, and future NBA star Eric "Sleepy" Floyd. These two coaches understood that "Defense" wins championships. John Thompson, Jr. would build the GU program around this great nucleus prior to the arrival of Patrick Ewing. Indeed this was a team that in 1979-80 could have easily won an NCAA championship. At this time, Bob Knight was only 3 years removed from his undefeated NCAA championship game, and a year before the arrival of Isaiah Thomas and another Indiana NCAA championship for the Hoosiers in 1981. The Hoyas would lose to Indiana in December 1980 as the Hoosiers entered the game with a #1 Ranking. However, this victory in December at the Capital Centre would help propel the Hoyas into National Prominence. We are Georgetown!
Looking to Reggie & the Miracles: For the past several years I have attended the US Open watching tennis late into the night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. This year I saw some great matches again seeing Melanie Oudin, Rafael Nadal, Venus Williams and others. I also took a trip across the #7 train to the new Citifield the new home of the NY Mets. I had not been to a Mets game since the Mets World Series Championship Year of 1986. Indeed, before the resurgence of the Yankees in the 1990's the Mets were the toast of NY for much of the 80's led by young superstars Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, and veteran leaders Keith Hernandez, and Gary Carter. As great a team as the Mets were they stumbled through the World Series falling behind the Boston Red Sox 3-2. Then with a little luck and an uncharacteristic error from Bill Buckner, the Mets rallied to win the World Series and capture the hearts of the City. Indeed the 1980's were a glorious time for sports from D.C. to New York. The Redskins and Giants both won multiple Super Bowls, and the Georgetown Hoyas played in 3 national championship games in 4 years. However, in 1986-87 the Hoyas were not the mighty team that had created the Hoya Paranoia craze. After the graduation of Patrick Ewing, Mark Jackson and Walter Berry at St. John's overpowered the Hoyas in the 85-86 season. Most people thought that the Hoyas would fall further in the 86-87 season with the lack of their vaunted power inside game. Former National HS Player of the Year Reggie Williams led the Hoyas with the help of Perry McDonald and a ferocious all-court defense back to prominence. Georgetown dominated Syracuse and their star Derrick Coleman, and destroyed Rick Pitino's upstart Providence team in the finals of the Big East Tournament. The Hoyas would go on to the Elite 8 before being knocked off on the road to the Final Four. However, it was a wonderful lesson to the college basketball world what a great team defense, and leadership could do. Thanks again to Reggie & the Miracles!
December 3, 2005 Georgetown drops Oregon 71-57 behind the 3-point shooting of their guards.
Prior to the 2005-06 season coach JTIII made a request at our Hoya Hoop Club Board meeting that some of us make the trip to Oregon. It was all I needed to hear, as my friends Chris Lucey and Payne Miller talked me into making the trip. All three of us had heard the stories of the "Mac Court" or "Pit" in Eugene, Oregon. It is famous as one of the most difficult opposing courts to play in, as well as being the second oldest on-campus arena next to Fordham's Rose Hill Gym. It was a long week as I fell asleep in the plane for an hour only to realize that we were still at Reagan National. We made the trip to the Portland Marriott, and took an early morning drive to the pre-game party in Eugene. The party was a great success as new AD Bernard Muir addressed the crowd and told us about his visit to the nearby Nike campus. We then took the short drive to "Mac Court." The game showcased the Hoyas massive front line of Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bowman. However, it was the Hoyas' blistering three-point shooting attack that downed the Ducks. Ashanti Cook had one of his best shooting performances as a Hoya supported by DJ Owens. It was such a spectacular performance that the announcers praised our team for their sportsmanship at game's end. I remember sitting in the bar for the post-game with several California Hoyas notably Alan Green and Drew McGowan. Apparently our impromptu post-game party was the impetus for the revival of the San Francisco Georgetown Alumni Club. I remember telling them how I hoped that the Hoyas would one day play in the Wooden Classic. Now in 2009 that is about to come true.