New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing has been hospitalized for COVID-19, he announced in a statement on Twitter.
“I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement reads. “This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly. I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”
Ewing, 57, is the head coach of Georgetown’s men’s basketball team and isolated at a local hospital, according to the statement. No other member of the program has tested positive for the virus at this time.
“Now more than ever, I want to thank the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines,” the statement said. “I’ll be fine and we will all get through this.”
Ewing is in his third season at Georgetown after spending 15 seasons with four teams as an NBA assistant coach. The Hoyas were 15-17 when play was stopped due to the pandemic.
Ewing is the greatest player in Georgetown history, leading the Hoyas to their only national title in 1984. They returned to the title game in 1985, but lost to Villanova in one of the greatest upsets in NCAA history. In Ewing’s four years at Georgetown, the school went 121-23 under coach John Thompson. Ewing established a tradition of great Georgetown big men that later included Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning.
The 6-foot-11 center was so highly coveted that NBA Commissioner David Stern instituted the NBA draft lottery in 1985 to disincentivize teams from tanking to get him. The Knicks won the lottery and signed him to a 10-year, $32M contract, an enormous figure at the time.
Ewing made 11 All-Star teams with the Knicks and was named to the All-NBA team seven times. A Hall of Famer, he was voted one of the league’s 50 greatest players in 1996. He was a member of the famed “Dream Team” of NBA stars that won the 1992 Olympic gold medal. He also won gold at the 1984 Games. He averaged 21.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in a 17-year career, 15 with the Knicks. He played a year with the Seattle SuperSonics and the Orlando Magic, retiring in 2002.
Despite his success and accolades, Ewing never won an NBA title, as the Knicks were often stymied by Michael Jordan’s Bulls. When Jordan retired to play baseball after the 1992-93 season, Ewing declared the next season would be the Knicks’ year. He led the Knicks to the Finals but they lost to the Houston Rockets in seven games.