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I Came As a Shadow: An Autobiography Paperback – February 1, 2022

4.9 out of 5 stars 1,063 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Plainspoken and profound … an unusually good sports memoir … a consequential book.”
The New York Times

“This superb book ... has been eagerly awaited for years. ... Thompson stresses the racial undercurrent that ran through his and Georgetown’s performances on the court.”
Washington Post

“In August, I offered NPR listeners an appetizer at the end of John Thompson’s life. I Came As a Shadow is the full meal. What drives you forward as a reader are the experiences. The moments you’d heard about and the ones you had not; the private thoughts of a public man; the complexity of a Black man who both raged against society’s racial injustice and eagerly embraced the opportunities to make things better; and the opinions of a person who remained relevant to the end of his life.”
―NPR

“A story of hard-won mobility and triumph. … Just like its subject, I Came As a Shadow is smart, plainspoken, and principled.”
―ESPN's The Undefeated

"Every chapter will bring back a lot of great basketball memories from Thompson’s coaching days along with his playing career, his family ties, the people who inspired him and others. Washington pens a brilliant note as the co-author."
Philadelphia Tribune

"A readable sports memoir; more importantly, a strong contribution to the ongoing discussion on race and racism."
―Kirkus

“Coach Thompson changed my life, not through basketball but with his teachings on education and manhood. He also changed our country and the way America sees itself. He was a great coach but an even better person, and his life story has lessons for us all.”
―Patrick Ewing

“Coach Thompson was bigger than the game of basketball. He used his position as a leader and one of the greats of coaching to stand up for what he knew was right. I had great respect for him, as a coach and as a man. He was one of a kind and his impact will be felt for years to come.”
―Michael Jordan

“I knew John Thompson for forty years. I loved the man. He was not only a great basketball coach, but an outstanding member of Nike’s Board of Directors for thirty years. His contributions came not just from his sports knowledge but more importantly from his overall wisdom. His passing leaves a large void in the life of Nike and me.”
―Phil Knight

I Came As a Shadow is pure John Thompson―direct, honest, and uncompromising. It's the story of how his large life unfolded amidst our nation's ongoing struggle to deal honestly with race. John saw himself first and foremost as a teacher. The lessons he leaves behind with this, his final gift to us, are more important than ever.”
―President Bill Clinton

“No one had a larger impact on college basketball. John built a program at Georgetown that was second to none. He was an incredibly strong person who always put his players first and fought for them at every turn. Repeatedly, I was amazed at his passion for doing what is right, even when unpopular and no one was looking…. John was a one-of-a-kind leader and an absolute treasure.”
―Mike Krzyzewski

“One of the truly remarkable, complex, brilliant, committed, courageous, fascinating men ever.”
―Michael Wilbon

“Thanks for saving my life, Coach.”
―Allen Iverson

About the Author

John Thompson was the head basketball coach at Georgetown University from 1972 to 1999, where he won the NCAA championship in 1984. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. He graduated from Providence College and held a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of the District of Columbia.

Jesse Washington is a writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated, and was previously the national writer on race and ethnicity at The Associated Press, managing editor of Vibe, and editor-in-chief of Blaze.

An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Punch Me Up to the Gods" by Brian Broome
"One of the most electrifying, powerful, simply spectacular memoirs I—or you— have ever read." —Augusten Burroughs Learn more

Product details

  • Publisher : Holt Paperbacks (February 1, 2022)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 125061936X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1250619365
  • Item Weight : 1.11 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.38 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 1,063 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
1,063 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, emotional read. Well worth the money.
By Thomas A. Gordon on December 28, 2020
The word “deep” comes to mind while reading this. I’m about halfway through and have loved every bit of it. I’m a Duke fan, but always have had respect for John Thompson. I’m happy I am currently reading this.
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6 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2021
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John Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 10, 2021
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