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John Thompson III to Receive 2019 NABC Guardians of the Game Award for Service

John Thompson III to Receive 2019 NABC Guardians of the Game Award for Service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John Thompson III, who recently served as a member of the Commission on College Basketball and is an assistant coach with USA Basketball’s men’s senior national team, is the recipient of the 2019 Guardians of the Game Award for Service presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).


Thompson will receive the award on Sunday, April 7, at the AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show at the Main Auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center.  The show, which begins at 6:30 p.m. CT, is held during the annual NABC Convention in conjunction with the NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four. The Guardians of the Game Pillar Awards are presented annually for advocacy, education, leadership and service, the four core values of the NABC.


The show will be broadcast live on Stadium (


Thompson was one of two former college coaches on the Commission on College Basketball, chaired by former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The Commission was established by the NCAA Board of Governors, Division I Board of Directors and NCAA President to fully examine critical aspects of Division I men’s basketball and charged to identify bold legislative, policy and structural modifications to improve the integrity of NCAA processes and the well-being of our student athletes as well as be committed to implement appropriate meaningful and lasting changes.


Based on the recommendations of the Commission, college basketball, and particularly its summer recruiting calendar, has undergone significant changes over the last year as a result of sweeping reform efforts. Several of the Commission’s recommendations related to recruiting were formally adopted by the NCAA last August.


Thompson, who is also a member of the NABC Board of Directors, serves as an assistant coach with USA Basketball’s men’s senior national team for all FIBA World Cup qualifiers leading to the 2019 FIBA World Cup. He previously served as an assistant coach for the Under 18 men's team in 2008.


A graduate of Princeton University, Thompson played basketball under Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril.  He served as an assistant with the Tigers from 1995-2000 before being named head coach. He guided Princeton to a pair of NCAA tournament berths in four seasons prior to his appointment as head coach at Georgetown University.


In 13 seasons as the Hoyas’ head coach, Thompson’s teams won three Big East titles and reached the NCAA tournament eight times, including a Final Four berth in 2006-2007. Overall, in 17 seasons as a head college coach, Thompson’s teams won 346 games, an average of more than 20 wins per season, six league championships and reached the postseason 12 times.


He is the son of Hall of Fame coach John Thompson, Jr., and is a college basketball analyst at ESPN.