George Thompson, former Marquette basketball star, dies at age 74

George Thompson, former Marquette basketball star, dies at age 74

If a Mount Rushmore of Marquette basketball were ever to be constructed, George Thompson would be one of the faces etched in stone.

Thompson, one of the most prolific scorers in Marquette’s history, died from complications of diabetes, the school announced on Wednesday. He was 74.

Thompson was one of legendary Marquette head coach Al McGuire’s first signature recruits from New York, with the Brooklyn-born player from Erasmus Hall High School arriving on campus in 1965. That helped open the NYC-to-Milwaukee pipeline that led to standout guards like Dean Meminger and Butch Lee.

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“The hardest part to understand, especially for younger people, is just how incredibly good he was,” said Steve “Homer” True, who broadcast Marquette games alongside Thompson. “It’s hard to explain that to people. It’s like Don Hutson or Don Kojis at Marquette, there’s just not that many people around anymore.

“He was the same age as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and they were the two superstars in New York City. He was at the public school and Lew Alcindor (as Abdul-Jabbar was known then) was at the private school.”

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