On the occasion of his 28th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 28, former men’s basketball star forward Jeff Green (COL ’12), contributed a $1 million donation to aid in the construction process of the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center.
“We are extremely grateful to Jeff. If you look at the lineage of this program, from Patrick [Ewing] to Alonzo [Mourning] and so many others, it is clear that across the board, these guys have a huge appreciation for this university,” Head Coach John Thompson III told The Hoya.
Green, who was recruited by former Head Coach Craig Esherick in 2003, played under Thompson until his junior year, when he left the Hilltop for the NBA. The fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft, Green returned to Georgetown for several summers in order to take classes and finish his degree in English with a minor in theology.
It is this type of academic commitment that has impressed Thompson.
“That’s what Jeff is about. Here, we teach our student-athletes to be men for others, and to respect the relationship between academics and athletics,” Thompson said. “Jeff left [school] early, as he should have, but he really wanted to come back and get his degree, which speaks volumes about his values and work ethic. Now he’s helping make the experience of future Georgetown athletes better, and for that we are fortunate.”
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed concurred with Thompson’s assessment of Green.
“Jeff is not only one of the legendary names from our men’s basketball program, but he embodies all that it means to be a Hoya,” Reed said in an official statement.
The leading member of Georgetown’s 2007 Final Four team, Green thought it fitting to donate back to the school he loves, and in honor of John Thompson Jr., the father of Thompson.
“I’m very fortunate to be in a position to give back to the university and to the program that has done so much for me,” Green said in an official statement. “The environment created by coach Thompson and his staff helped shape me both academically and athletically. Georgetown and Georgetown basketball is at my core and is part of who I am.”
The 2007 Big East Player of the Year’s gift forms a part of a $62 million building effort that will begin with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Thompson Athletics Center on Sept. 12.
Just two days before, on Aug.26, legendary Hoyas center Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85) and sports agent David Falk donated $3.3 million to the same cause.
The Thompson Athletic Center, funded entirely by philanthropic means, will house the new Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame and men’s and women’s basketball coaches’ offices. The four-story, 144,000-square-foot structure will also contain weight-training, sports medicine, team meeting and practice facilities for all varsity programs.