Former Georgetown all-American Jeff Green announced Thursday that he will be making a $1 million contribution toward the construction of the John Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center. Green’s gift comes on his 28th birthday and three days after Patrick Ewing and David Falk jointly donated $3.3 million to the athletics department to help fund the facility.
As a junior in 2007, Green led the Hoyas to the Final Four and was selected with the No. 5 pick in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. After stops in Seattle and Oklahoma City, Green rejoined the Celtics in 2010-11 and in August 2012 signed a four-year deal worth $36 million.
“First and foremost, it gave me an opportunity to pursue my dream of getting to the NBA,” Green said in a telephone interview about his time at Georgetown. “I mean, the environment was amazing. The facility is going to give players the opportunity to get better, and the future recruits Georgetown is bringing in, it will give them a chance to see one of the best facilities in the country probably.”
Georgetown is scheduled to break ground on the athletic center on Sept. 12. The four-story, 144,000-square-foot facility will be built next to McDonough Gym at a cost of $62 million. The building is to include practice courts and men’s and women’s basketball coaches offices as well as meeting facilities for varsity programs.
In 1984, Thompson became the first African American coach to win a national title during a stretch in which the Hoyas made three appearances in the Final Four in four seasons. In 27 years at Georgetown, Thompson, 72, won the most games in school history (596) and was named Big East coach of the year three times.
Thompson’s eldest son, John Thompson III, has been the coach of the Hoyas since 2004 and remains close with Green, who averaged a career-high 16.9 points this past season.
“I think it speaks to what they feel about this institution and to this program,” Thompson III said of the donations from Green and Ewing. “Speaking of those two specifically, I think that they understand and want to do everything they can to make sure that the players in the future, athletes in the future, have an opportunity to have a top-of-the-line, world-class environment to get better, to work.”