WASHINGTON — Just like long ago, Patrick Ewing was receiving roars from Georgetown’s fans and leading the basketball team to a victory, only this time he was coaching the Hoyas as they beat Jacksonville 73-57 on Sunday in his sideline debut.
With playing rival Michael Jordan and fellow Georgetown alumni Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Otto Porter Jr. in the arena, along with his former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, Ewing began his first head coaching job at any level.
Spectators cheered when Ewing walked onto the floor for the first time, about 10 minutes before the opening tipoff. Moments later, Ewing was given an ovation when the spotlight fell on him as he was introduced after the Hoyas’ starters.
JD Notae had 18 points for Jacksonville (0-2), an ASUN Conference school that last made it to the NCAA Tournament 31 years ago.
Ewing is the Hoyas’ career rebounding and blocks leader and ranks second in points. He led Georgetown to three Final Four appearances and the 1984 national championship under coach John Thompson Jr.
Thompson’s son, John Thompson III, was fired after consecutive losing seasons, the school’s first such skid since enduring three in a row in the early 1970s.
After his Hall of Fame playing career, Ewing was an assistant coach in the NBA for 15 years.
Jacksonville: The Dolphins were overmatched in their first game against Georgetown since 2008. They won’t face another high-major opponent until Dec. 22 at N.C. State.
Georgetown: With the fanfare of Ewing’s debut complete, the Hoyas will head into a relatively soft nonconference schedule that includes only one road game.
Jacksonville: The Dolphins meet North Carolina A&T in their home opener on Saturday.
Georgetown: The Hoyas continue their season-opening three-game homestand as Mount St. Mary’s visits Wednesday.