Patrick Ewing will receive the inaugural Johnny Bach Award from Fordham University at the Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Dinner on Monday night, November 5, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel (Park Avenue at Grand Central) in New York.
John W. Bach, FCRH ’48, a coaching icon on the collegiate, professional, and international levels, is one of the greatest basketball minds of all time. A defensive specialist, he has been credited with helping the Chicago Bulls to win three straight NBA championships. He is still the all-time winningest coach in Fordham University basketball history (263-193), and led the Rams to five NIT appearances and a pair of NCAA berths in 18 seasons.
The Johnny Bach award is presented annually to the individual who has had substantial and lasting impact on the sport of basketball and who best emulates Mr. Bach’s drive and passion for excellence.
For information contact Grace Clark at GClark7@Fordham.edu, call 646-312-8223, or visit www.fordham.edu/tipoff. Individual tickets are priced at $300; tables and sponsorships are available at various prices.
“It’s nice to be remembered. It brings me closer to Fordham,” said Bach. “I have great feelings for Fordham. The past 20 years, between work and the grind of the NBA schedule, I haven’t had a chance to get back. I’m looking forward to getting back there.”
“Johnny Bach is a great coach, a great gentleman and a great friend,” said Ewing. “I had the opportunity to start my coaching career with Coach Bach in Washington. He is a person I look up to and admire. It is an honor to accept this award.”
“I’m delighted that Patrick Ewing will be the first recipient,” added Bach. “Michael Jordan brought both of us in to coach in Washington, and I gave him advice to take notes, watch what was going on, that he’d get his shot to coach one day. And he will.”
Bach’s friendship with Ewing blossomed in their time together in Washington, with the veteran teaching the rookie coach the ropes of the profession.
“He and I have a nice relationship,” Bach continued. “I’ll kid him that no one took three steps to the basket as well as he did. He would counter that Jordan was pretty good at taking the extra step or two as well.”
“Warrior” is the most apt description for the legendary Patrick Ewing, the recipient of the inaugural Fordham Johnny Bach Award. His accolades and accomplishments rank him as one of the greatest basketball stars at the center position in both college at Georgetown University and in the NBA, primarily with the New York Knicks.
The native of Kingston, Jamaica, was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Basketball Players of All-time in celebration of the N.B.A.’s 50th Anniversary in 1996; was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008; and his famed number 33 was retired and hoisted to the Madison Square Garden rafters in 2003.