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Patrick Aloysius Ewing Edit Profile

athlete , basketball player

Patrick Ewing, a native of Jamaica, has been heralded as one of the 50 greatest players of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Ewing's strength and athletic skill made him one of the most dominant players in the history of the sport, where he was named NBA All-Star 11 times, including 10 consecutive seasons from 1988 to 1997. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1985, when he began his career with the New York Knickerbockers.


Patrick Aloysius Ewing was bom in Kingston, Jamaica, on August 5, 1962, the fifth of seven children. His parents Dorothy and Carl lived in one of the poorest sections of Jamaica's capital.


However, his parents wanted to make sure their children received an education. With the help of family members who already lived in the United States, Dorothy Ewing left for the United States in 1971 and quickly found a job in the cafeteria of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston's West End. During the next few years the family joined her in the United States. Six-foot-tall Patrick, who was already a very skilled soccer player, arrived in January of 1975.

When he began his studies at Rindge and Latin High School, he became the starting center of the school's basketball team, where he distinguished himself. The following year, recognized as High School Player of the Year at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, and considered one of the best high school players in the United States, coaches from all over the country tried to recruit him during the finals for the state title, where his team was playing Boston Latin High School. Among the coaches present was John Thompson, the coach of the Georgetown University Lloyas. Ewing graduated from high school in 1981 and left for Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to begin his university studies in fine arts with a basketball scholarship.


Until Ewing arrived at the Georgetown campus, the Hoyas were not an outstanding team. When Ewing joined the team as center forward they were ranked among the top teams in the country. His aggressive style on the court and his refusal to concede interviews to journalists meant that he got "bad press." Over the years, Ewing has been consistently wary of the press and is notorious for guard-ing his privacy. Sports journalists from all over the nation were present during his first season at Georgetown University, when he led the Hoyas to the finals of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Tournament. Even though his team lost the tournament, his leadership and skill in the game began to make a difference to his team. During his years as a Hoya, Ewing and his team appeared in 3 consecutive NCAA Championship games. In 1984 the Hoyas won the NCAA title and Ewing was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, Big East Player of the Year, and for the second straight season was named as an All-American. At this point million-dollar offers were pouring in, enticing Ewing to end his university studies and join the NBA. However, in honor of his mother Dorothy, who had died of a heart attack that year and to whom he had promised to complete his education, Ewing remained at Georgetown.

A few months after the 1984 NCAA Championship, Ewing successfully tried out for the U.S. Olympic basketball team, and was a starting player in five of the six games played in Los Angeles, where the team won the gold medal. On his return for his last year at Georgetown, Ewing led the Hoyas to another NCAA Championship game, which they eventually lost to Villanova. However, even af-ter the season was over Ewing, whose physique and skills had earned him the nickname "The Warrior," won the prestigious Naismith Award for the best in college basketball, as well as the Eastman Kodak Award. He was also awarded the Adolph Rupp Trophy, which recognizes College Basketball's Player of the Year as selected by the Associated Press. By the time he left Georgetown, Ewing had become a well-known figure in college basketball, becoming the all-time leading shot blocker and rebounder and second highest scorer in Hoyas basketball history.

Later that year Ewing made history when the NBA developed a new way to select players the seven teams with the worst records would take part in a lottery where the team whose name was drawn would get first pick. On national television, the New York JKnicks made Ewing their number one choice, giving him the distinction of being the first lottery pick ever in NBA history. In addition, he signed one of the highest paying contracts $31 million over a ten-year period which made him the highest paid rookie in NBA history. Ewing made his professional basketball debut before a sellout crowd in Madison Square Garden on October 26, 1985, and during the season averaged 36.4 minutes and 19.2 points. He was named to the All-Star game, an honor not usually bestowed on a rookie. Even though Ewing had undergone arthroscopic surgery for an injured knee that year, he played in 50 of 82 Knick games and was named Rookie of the Year.

Ewing spent 15 years with the New York Knicks and accumulated a significant number of records in the sport. Overall, he is the all-time Knick leader in number of games played (1,039), points scored (3,665), minutes played (37,586), field goals made (9,260), and free throws attempted (6,904). He also holds the lead in rebounds (10,759), steals (1,061), and blocks (2,758). More than any other Knick player, Ewing scored 40 or more points in 30 games. In 1997 he was elected president of the NBA Players Association after having served as vice president on the union's executive committee for the previous three years. As president he is remembered for his efforts to maintain a united front during grueling negotiations that resulted in a two month "lock out" of the players and the successful rejection by the players of an effort to decertify the union. In 1996 he was inducted into Madison Square Garden's Walk of Fame. Considered the best shooting center in NBA history, Ewing's 2000 trade to the Seattle SuperSonics and his departure from New York was bittersweet. He left the team without having achieved his lifelong dream of winning a professional basketball championship.

In 2000, his only season with Seattle, Ewing averaged 26 minutes and his scoring and rebounding was at an all-time career low. Considered the best player ever in New York basketball, when his new team played the New York Knicks on February 28, 2001, the fans gave him an unprecedented three-minute standing ovation. By the end of that season his contract was not renewed and he went to play for the Orlando Magic in Florida, where he played a backup role with limited playing time.

This extraordinary career has also included many injuries and surgeries. Past his prime at 39 years of age, and recently described as "a future Hall of Famer who cannot play the way he used to", Ewing played for two more seasons, hoping to win a championship before he retired. However, he stepped down at the end of the 2002 season without achieving his dream of a championship ring. Later that year he joined the Washington Wizards as an assistant coach; it is believed he will someday become head coach of an NBA team.


Quotations: "Everybody always thinks the grass is always greener.New York is a passionate city. They want a winner. They deserve a winner. I think we did an outstanding job of bringing it back."

"Every parent wants to see their kids excel."


  • “"Patrick Ewing was not an easy personality to figure out, but in my mind, his abrasive persona was more a response to the fans that spurned him in times of defeat."”


  • Sport & Clubs

    Ewing discovered basketball at the age of 12, watching kids play in Hoyt Park and other schoolyards around his Cambridge home. Impressed by his size, they invited him to join their game, and by the time he was in the seventh grade, he had made his first "slam dunk." The following year he was 6'6" tall and ready to embark on the sport that would change his life.


Patrick Ewing married Rita Williams, 1990;

Ewing's son, Patrick Ewing, Jr., transferred to his father's alma mater, Georgetown University after two years at Indiana University. Ewing, Jr. wore the same jersey number that his father wore, #33. He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the second round with the 43rd pick of the 2008 NBA draft, but was then traded to the New York Knicks, his father's old team. He did not make the Knicks' final roster, however. He has spent most of his career in the NBA D-League and in Europe.

Carl Ewing

Dorothy Ewing

Rita Williams