Dominated by footage of the early-season rout of Maryland, shocking upset of then-No. 1 Connecticut and gutsy victories over Memphis and Syracuse, the artfully edited video that was shown at Georgetown’s men’s basketball banquet suggested a winning season.
But Coach John Thompson III didn’t dodge the fact that the 2008-09 season didn’t go as planned during his remarks to the Hoya Hoop Club, which hosted the annual gathering Tuesday night to honor the team, coaching staff, managers, pep band, cheerleaders, mascots and support staff.
“It has not been an easy year,” Thompson said of the 16-15 season, which ended with first-round losses in the Big East tournament and National Invitation Tournament. “It was not the kind of year any of us wanted, not the kind of year any of us expected, nor the kind of year we’re going to have next year.”
Each player on the team received a varsity letter, but only the seniors — four-year stalwart Jessie Sapp, walk-on Bryon Jansen and manager Chris Golski — were accorded speaking privileges.
Sapp, who drew a standing ovation, offered parting words of advice, encouragement and affection to each of his teammates — including sophomore Chris Wright, with whom he reportedly tangled this season.
Dismissing talk that their relationship was strained, Sapp said of Wright: “That’s my little brother. We didn’t have a fight at all; we had a misunderstanding.”
But he reserved his most heartfelt thanks for Thompson, despite the coach’s decision to give his starting job to sophomore Nikita Mescheriakov amid a shooting slump.
“I’m a New York City kid, and I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to show my talent,” Sapp said. “You told me you believed I would be successful in anything I do. I really do appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
April 22, 2009; 8:42 AM ET
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