Patrick Ewing represents two eras of basketball that no longer exist, the time of legitament low post centers and the days of four year college stars. His induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame is a flashback to a time that has long left us. Ewing played during what some may considered the golden era of college basketball, especially for post players.
From 1983-85, the No. 1 overall picks in the NBA draft were centers Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ewing. Sampson and Olajuwon didn’t come away with NCAA titles, but Ewing did in 1984 when Georgetown defeated Houston 84-75 in the championship game. “I was fortunate to be able to go to three of them and blessed to have won one,” Ewing said. “I treasure every victory that we had.”
Ewing patrolled the paint for the Georgetown Hoyas during a time when coach John Thompson was making the BIG EAST into a physical basketball brand. “The main reason I chose to go to Georgetown was Coach Thompson,” Ewing said. “He played the center position. And also, he was a man that I could aspire to be like.” The Ewing led Hoyas had a 121-23 record and three National Championship Game appearances in his four years at the university.
Ewing made the most of his time at Georgetown not just going to championship games but also getting his degree, something many players these days do not accomplish. “I felt like I came into college a boy and left a man,” said Ewing, the headliner in the 2012 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame induction class. “Coach (John) Thompson and all the people at Georgetown did an outstanding job of helping me, not only as a basketball player but also as a human being.” Ewing is a great example to young players today that you can have the best of both worlds, enjoy college and have a successful pro career.
Other inductees for the hall of fame ceremony on Sunday included players Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Phil Ford, Clyde Lovellette, Kenny Sailors and Willis Reed; coaches Joe B. Hall and Dave Robbins and contributors Jim Host and Joe Dean Sr.