Pat Riley: If I Was a HS Player 'I Guarantee I'd Want to Play for Patrick Ewing'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 14, 2021

Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing cuts down the net after an NCAA college basketball game against Creighton in the championship of the Big East Conference tournament Saturday, March 13, 2021, in New York.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

In the aftermath of Georgetown's surprise victory in the Big East men's basketball tournament, Patrick Ewing received high praise from one of his former NBA head coaches.  

Per ESPN's Ian O'Connor, Miami Heat president Pat Riley explained why he would have loved to play for a coach like Ewing. 

"If I was a high school player and I was really good, I'd want to go with somebody who was not going to kiss my ass, who coached the hell out of me and made me better. I guarantee I'd want to play for Patrick Ewing," said Riley. 

Riley coached Ewing with the New York Knicks for four seasons from 1991-95. They made the playoffs every year, including an appearance in the 1994 NBA Finals. 

Ewing, who graduated from Georgetown in 1985, returned to his alma mater to replace John Thompson III as head coach in April 2017. The Hoyas missed the NCAA tournament in each of his first two seasons and last year's event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Expectations were low for the Hoyas in the 2021 Big East tournament. They were the No. 8 seed when it began with a 9-12 overall record (7-9 in conference play) during the regular season. 

Georgetown won four games in four days, including a 73-48 blowout of No. 2 seed Creighton in Saturday's title game, to earn the program's first NCAA tournament berth since the 2014-15 season.