Courtesy Bill Auth/Georgetown Sports Information The Georgetown Hoyas went 34-3 en route to their National Championship victory on April 2, 1984, defeating Midwest seed No. 2 Houston, 84-75.

It has been 20 years since the Georgetown men’s basketball team was at the pinnacle of success. On April 3, 1984, led by head coach John Thompson and junior forward Patrick Ewing, the Hoyas were crowned National Champions.

Before the Hoyas could reach the top, though, they had to get through perennial rival Syracuse – this time, in the Big East Tournament Final. Ewing dominated the game with 27 points and 19 boards, controversy soared as freshman forward Michael Graham was nearly ejected for supposedly taking a swing at an Orangeman, and even Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim couldn’t control his temper, kicking over chairs in the post-game press conference.

Eleven-point victors in overtime, the Hoyas had earned the No. 1 seed for the Big Dance. Just weeks later, in front of 38,471 people at the Kingdome in Seattle, the Hoyas defeated the Houston Cougars, 84-75. That night, with five players in double figures and four others adding to the cause, Georgetown had won the national championship with a final record of 34-3.

“They do everything a great team should do,” a tearful Hakeem Olajuwon told The Washington Post after the game. “[The Hoyas] don’t care who scores, who takes the shots. That’s the difference. They aren’t a selfish team,” he said.

The trophy still sits in the lobby of McDonough Gymnasium, below the photographs of former Hoyas and among trophies of other Big East and tournament championships.

While the memorabilia is still there, the Hoyas, who have become that mystical team from the past, have moved on. The 12 members of that basketball team are now working in all kinds of careers in cities all across the country.

Captain and senior guard Gene Smith, who sat out the national championship game with an injured foot, was described by coaches and critics as a defensive specialist. Smith, still seventh all-time in steals, helped Thompson teach the 1988 Olympic team “how to play defense.” Smith now works as a sales account manager for Nike in New Jersey.

Reggie Williams, then a freshman forward, was the leading scorer in the championship game with 19 points – 13 in the second half. A consensus All-American as a senior, Williams was also named Big East Player of the Year in 1987.

Michael Graham, another freshman, added 14 points and five rebounds in the championship. Still a supporter of the program, Graham was spotted at a Hoya basketball game last year in South Carolina, even though he transferred to the University of D.C. after the championship season.

After his 1985 graduation, center Ralph Dalton stayed at Georgetown to receive his MBA in 1987. Dalton, now a sales associate for Merrill Lynch, looks back not only at the championship, but his entire sophomore season as special, memorable and successful.

“It wasn’t just the championship – it was the whole Georgetown experience,” he recounts from his office in New York City.

Dalton, who redshirted his first year with an injury, averaged over seven points per game by the time he was a senior.

Laughing about how now, 20 years later, his kids are playing instead of him, Dalton adds: “When you talk to players, you’ll hear about Coach Thompson, practices, what he used to tell us. But it wasn’t just that: it was the whole season, the whole experience.”

Back on that day in April, All-Big East forward David Wingate added an essential 16 points for the Hoyas. Wingate, who left Georgetown in 1986, but remains sixth all-time in scoring, seventh all-time in assists and fourth all-time in steals, was an often overlooked, but nonetheless major factor in that championship season.

And then there was Bill Martin, then a junior guard, who is still in the top 15 in scoring and top 10 in rebounding. Martin, an honorable-mention All-American, played in 142 games – more than any other Hoya except Patrick Ewing (143).

“It means a lot more to me now than it did to me then,” he says of the season when Georgetown made the record books. “I’m so much more proud now.”

Many of the freshmen this year weren’t even born in 1984, and Martin says he can’t believe how much time has gone by: “Now, I turn on ESPN Classic and I get to see our old games.”

A consistent guard who played in 30-plus games each year until his 1986 graduation, Horace Broadnax currently practices law in Palm City, Fla.

Another member of the championship squad, Michael Jackson was known for his unselfish play, as shown by his record 242-assist season and standing as second all-time in career assists. The then sophomore guard is now the owner of Port City Java in Ashville, N.C.

Other indispensable players are still in the Washington, D.C., area, including then freshman forward Clifton Dairsow and sophomore forward Victor Morris, who transferred to Alcorn State.

Many of the players from the national championship team were selected in the NBA draft but chose not to play, including then senior guard Fred Brown, who co-founded Synergy, LLC. Brown, who is still sixth all-time in Georgetown assists and steals, was drafted in the eighth round by the Atlanta Hawks. Ralph Dalton was chosen in the seventh round by the Cleveland Cavaliers; Michael Jackson, taken in the second round by the Knicks; and Gene Smith, selected in the fifth round by the Pacers.

Others, however, did go see minutes in the NBA, like Bill artin, who was selected in the second round by the Pacers in 1985 and continued his NBA career until 1990 with the Pacers, Knicks, Suns and Magic. Reggie Williams was selected in the first round by the Clippers and spent time with the Spurs, Nuggets, Pacers and Nets before retiring in 1997. And the championship season’s starting forward, David Wingate, was chosen in the second round by Philadelphia in 1986. Until his retirement in 2000, Wingate played in Philadelphia, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Seattle and New York.

And then there was one: number 33, Patrick Ewing. Ewing, then a junior center but already a team leader, scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the championship game and was named tournament MVP. He ended his career as a four-time All-American (three-time consensus), National Player of the Year, Georgetown’s all-time leading rebounder and second all-time scorer.

After being selected first in the 1985 draft by the New York Knicks, Ewing went on to earn NBA Rookie of the Year Honors and be named to the NBA All-Star Team 11 times. After 15 years with the Knicks, he spent one year each in Seattle and Orlando. Over his career, Ewing averaged 21 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.45 blocks. In NBA history, he ranks 13th all-time in career points (24,815), 20th all-time in rebounds (11,607) and fifth all-time in blocks (2,894). He has played in two Olympics and two NBA finals in addition to his three final four appearances.

These days, Ewing can still be seen courtside, recently moving from an assistant coaching job with the Wizards to take on the same role in Houston.

And despite the bond they formed that year in 1984, it’s gotten too hard for the champions to keep in touch.

“Honestly, every year, some of us will end up in the same place, but that’s about the only time we see each other.” Dalton said.

The day the Hoyas won the national championship, Coach Thompson told the Washington Post that, at times, he had been obsessed by the national championship – that he had even woke himself up in the middle of the night thinking about it.

“Now I have one,” Thompson said. “I don’t want 10 like John Wooden, I just wanted to get one.”

And now, 20 years later, he and all Hoyas past and present, still have and cherish that national championship. That one.

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