Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Lifetime Achievement Award
GEORGE R. THOMPSON, III, SP '69
— Professional basketball player
— Sports announcer
— Business executive
A member of two athletic halls of fame and recipient of the Sports Task Force Pioneer Award bestowed by the National Association of Black Journalists, George is best known within the Marquette community for his basketball triumphs. He was a starting point guard from 1967–69 and team captain during the 1968-69 season, and he still holds the single-season scoring record with a 20 points-per-game average. He went on to play for the American Basketball Association’s Pittsburgh Pipers, where he was named an All-Star three times, and concluded his career with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1975.
But George is quick to point out that his athletic success makes up only one-third of his professional career. After retiring from that world, he was vice president of corporate communications and community relations at Briggs & Stratton from 2006–09. His efforts were instrumental in promoting philanthropic relations for Briggs & Stratton, and the company has since become the lead sponsor for Briggs & Al’s Run, a run/walk founded by Coach Al McGuire that has raised more than $13 million for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
George’s philanthropic leadership extends to his alma mater. He chose to attend Marquette because of the structure that comes with a Jesuit education, which he believes is so vitally important to young people. George has helped extend the Marquette experience to other students and alumni like himself through his generosity. Though he is sometimes credited with initiating the Marquette basketball legacy of success, his support and advocacy on behalf of Marquette truly have earned him another badge of excellence.
Get to Know: George Thompson
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Someone past or present he’d like to have dinner with: Abraham Lincoln
The Marquette faculty or staff member who had a great impact on him: Hank Raymonds
Most influential individuals in George’s life: His parents