The Van Buren Boys

The Blogosphere's best source for the latest analysis and
commentary from the world of Georgetown Hoyas basketball.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Andy Katz on Monica Thompson

Monica Thompson's battle grounds husband, Hoyas

When it was over, Monica Thompson could have climbed up the ladder to trim down a piece of the East Regional championship net. She had every right to have a few inches of the twine. Her strength, her will and her support meant that much to Georgetown's run to the Final Four.

The past two years, John Thompson III hasn't said much about his wife's battle with breast cancer. But don't think for a second that he hasn't been dealing with more stress and pressure than anyone else coaching in this field.

Thompson III somehow has balanced coaching the Hoyas to the Big East regular-season and tournament titles and now to the East Regional crown, while also helping with his wife's battle and raising three children under the age of nine.

"John has done an incredible job of balancing and keeping everything in perspective," said Monica, with one of her children, giddy with excitement, hanging around her leg while she held another. "I was diagnosed in November [2005] before the first game, and my whole treatment was the entire season and I finished my chemo during the [2006] NCAA Tournament.

"He was there, he was at every single chemo treatment," Monica said. "We're able to do it through the support of friends and family and the belief in God."

Monica said she feels great.

"I'm doing well and I'm really enjoying every moment of this," she said.

Monica said she went through the whole battery of treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and more. And throughout every day, there was John, never shirking his responsibility as a father and a husband to have more time with his team.

"This game was indicative of how it has been throughout the whole season, and I would say that it's a testament to John and his character and his personality and the way he is and how he never, never gives up," Monica said.
. . . .

"She's enabled me to balance, and that's the truth," JTIII said. "That's the answer. I said it last year at our banquet that she's allowed me to do my job and fortunately we've been doing OK."
How has he done it?

"I don't know, I don't know the answer to that," he said. "We just work hard and she's allowed me to do my job. I've been lucky, fortunate and blessed by her strength. She's tough, she's strong, she's a fighter and that's allowed me to do my job."

This past November, Thompson briefly discussed how difficult Monica's struggles were for their family. But then, like now, he didn't want to discuss too much. Earlier Sunday, John Jr. commended his son for balancing his life and his daughter-in-law's strength. Big John has helped out as much as he can, too, with the children. This has been a true family effort to support Monica and the children while helping this program run flawlessly and at a championship level the past two seasons.
. . . .

"I'm doing well now, my health is great," Monica said. "And my family is enjoying this moment."

No comments: