Former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson stepped in to save a D.C. Boys & Girls Club scheduled to close Friday.
The Bill Butler-Julius Wyatt Clubhouse, which opened in 1972, has a $250,000 deficit and needed $42,500 this week to stay open for another three months, said Paul Alagero, the Boys & Girls Club’s local chief development officer.
Thompson's grandson saw News4's report Wednesday night and the legendary coach put up the money to keep the clubhouse open for the next three months.
“I have a foundation that I put together for that purpose,” Thompson said. “Most of the time we try to remain anonymous in the things that we try to get done, but I think it’s significant with this to try to get other people to try to help.”
Real estate developer and Boys & Girls Club board member Eddie Kaplan heard about Thompson's donation and will match it, the Boys & Girls Club said.
“I think it’s important that the club stays open because it has a historical value,” Thompson said.
The clubhouse at 120 M St. NW is part of the Boys & Girls Club, an organization aimed at preventing youth violence, and is just a block away from a driveby shooting that injured 13 and captured national attention last month.
“There hasn’t been anything violent in this club, but still you want to close it,” one woman spoke out during a meeting on the club’s future.
“If those tough decisions were not made, every site throughout the metropolitan area would be closing,” Alagero said.
Thompson's son, John Thompson III, is Georgetown's current basketball coach.
Follow Shomari Stone on Twitter at @shomaristone