Patrick Ewing is a retired professional NBA basketball player. He was born on August 5, 1962 to Carl and Dorothy Ewing in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to the U.S. when he was 12 years old. During his childhood he preferred to play cricket and soccer, but learned to play basketball at high school. He joined the MIT-Wellesley Upward Bound Program, which is a college preparation program for disadvantaged youths. He led his team to three state championships, and was invited to try out for the 1980 Olympic team, becoming the first high school student to have been invited for Olympic trials. He wasn’t selected but the experience itself was invaluable to him.
Ewing attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and during his tenure there, was made a citizen of the United States. He led his team to the championship game of the NCAA tournament three out of his four years there. In 1984, they were victorious, with Ewing being named the Outstanding Player of the tournament. The same year, he tried out for the Olympic team again, this time making the cut and eventually winning the Gold medal. However, the death of his mother in 1983 had left him shaken and this was followed by the shocking news that his high school girlfriend was pregnant. Ewing’s first child Patrick Aloysius Ewing, Jr. was born May 21, 1984 while he was still at college. He declined several lucrative offers of turning pro and waited until his college graduation in 1985.
He was selected to play by the NBA team New York Knicks. During his first year on the team he suffered several injuries but managed to win the NBA Rookie of the Year title. He enjoyed a successful and long run with the Knicks as a center, and his entire career spanned 15 years. He was named an NBA All-Star 11 times, a member of the All-NBA First Team once, a member of the All-NBA Second Team 6 times and a member of the NBA All-Defensive Second Team 3 times. At the 1992 Olympic Games, he was a member of the Dream Team and was eventually named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
One of his most famous performances was against the defending NBA Champion Chicago Bulls in the 1992 Eastern Conference Semifinals. Despite an ankle injury, he scored 27 points to help his team win the game. It is regarded as one of his most memorable performances. That year, he won his second Olympic Gold as part of the Dream Team. He also helped his team reach the 1994 NBA Finals and in his final season with the Knicks in 1999 – 2000, he played in his 1,000th NBA game. He is the only player to have played 1,000 games with the Knicks. In honor of his retirement, his jersey number 33 was retired by the Knicks.
In 2000, he was traded to the Seattle Supersonics with whom he spent a year and then joined Orlando Magic, before retiring in September 2002. After retirement from professional basketball, he took the job of assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. Patrick Ewing has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts twice – the first time in 2008 for his individual career, and next in 2010 as a member of the 1992 Olympic Dream team.