Gamecock Jesus Spirit Soars as South Carolina Claims Third National Title

Gamecock Jesus

In a poignant tribute to the late Carlton Thompson, affectionately known as “Gamecock Jesus,” the spirit of belief echoed through Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as the South Carolina Gamecocks secured their third national title in women’s basketball.

Amidst the fervor of the NCAA Women’s Final Four, a garnet flag emblazoned with the resolute word “BELIEVE!” soared high, reminiscent of the flags Thompson proudly waved at South Carolina athletic events. Thompson, fondly remembered as “Baseline Jesus” or “The Stomper,” passed away last year after battling prostate cancer, leaving behind a legacy intertwined with unwavering support for his alma mater.

An iconic figure at USC basketball games, Thompson’s flowing hair and beard earned him the moniker of “Jesus,” while his trademark yellow Crocs and garnet attire adorned with the word “Believe” became symbols of his devotion. John and Michelle Nicholas, longtime friends of Thompson, traveled from Columbia to Cleveland, carrying a flag from the Fraternity of Gamecock Flags, a poignant homage to their departed friend.

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As the Gamecocks triumphed in the final, securing victory with an 87-75 scoreline against Iowa, John Nicholas honored Thompson’s memory by stomping on the metal steps and waving the flag, mirroring his friend’s cherished tradition. Although Thompson had witnessed South Carolina’s previous national championship victory in 2022, courtesy of a community-driven GoFundMe campaign, John believes his spirit watched over the team’s triumph from above, filled with unbridled joy.

In the heart of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, amidst the cheers and celebrations, the spirit of “Gamecock Jesus” lived on, a testament to the enduring power of belief and camaraderie within the Gamecock community.

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