Thompson, Yow, Curran to be honored

Updated: August 19, 2009, 4:41 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Former Georgetown coach John Thompson, the late Kay Yow and high school coaching legend Jack Curran were selected Wednesday to receive the second annual Lapchick Character Awards.

The three will be honored at a luncheon at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19, it was announced Wednesday.

The award, started by a group including Joe Lapchick biographer and former player Gus Alfieri, recognizes coaches who have shown the character traits and coaching skills of the Hall of Famer who coached St. John's and the New York Knicks.

Thompson led the Georgetown Hoyas to three Final Four appearances, including the 1984 national championship, the first won by a black head coach. All but two of the 78 players who stayed four years with him at Georgetown received a diploma (97 percent). His son, John III, is the current coach at Georgetown.

Yow had a successful coaching career at North Carolina State, leading the Wolfpack to the Final Four in 1998. But it was her 22-year fight with breast cancer that became her legacy and she helped to raise funds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Yow and Thompson, both members of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, were the U.S. Olympic coaches in 1988, the women winning the gold medal, the men the bronze.

Curran will begin his 52nd season at New York City's Archbishop Molloy High School where he has won more than 900 games, the New York State record, five city championships. He helped almost 500 players receive athletic scholarships, including Kevin Joyce, Kenny Smith and Kenny Anderson. He has won more than 1,600 games and 17 city titles as Molloy's baseball coach.

St. John's athletic director Emeritus Jack Kaiser will be honored for his support of the Lapchick Award committee. Kaiser, one of the founders of the Big East Conference, is the only man to play for and coach under Lapchick.

The inaugural group of Lapchick honorees was Hall of Famers Pat Summitt, Lou Carnesecca and Dean Smith.

The award is sponsored by Nike, D'Agostino Supermarkets and HHI Hotels.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press