Carlton Thompson Obituary: The man affectionately known as Gamecock Jesus has passed away.
At the age of 70, Carlton Thompson has left us, as announced by the University of South Carolina Athletics Department on Wednesday morning.
Accompanying the announcement was a compilation of images capturing Thompson’s presence at numerous games.
Thompson’s positivity and support for Gamecock athletics had been a driving force for the fanbase for many decades.
Carlton Thompson Obituary & Death
Carlton Thompson, affectionately known as “Gamecock Jesus,” passed away after battling prostate cancer on December 6, 2023, at the age of 70 in Elgin.
He battled COVID-19, and even after he recovered, he still felt weak. Later, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had spread to his bones.
In a tribute organized by women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, Thompson received cards and messages during his battle with prostate cancer. His health declined over the past year, preventing him from attending games.
Highlighting the importance of early detection, Thompson, in a September interview with Judi Gatson, encouraged all men to undergo screening for prostate cancer, emphasizing the simplicity of the PSA lab test.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judi, and two sons.
More Details On His Supporting Journey!
Thompson’s fandom spanned five decades, dating back to 1968. He was popular for his signature smile, unmistakable beard, and infectious spirit, which became synonymous with Gamecock sports.
He earned his nickname, in part, due to his distinctive appearance, characterized by his long flowing hair and beard adorned with a bandana.
Furthermore, he adopted various nicknames over the years, starting with “The Stomper” at Carolina Coliseum’s metal bleachers and evolving into “Baseline Jesus” and eventually “Gamecock Jesus.”
Renowned for his spirited presence, he could often be found in the stands at USC men’s and women’s basketball games.
Always stationed at the baseline of Colonial Life Arena, particularly near the opposing bench during second halves, Thompson made a striking impression with his USC bandana-clad hair, garnet T-shirt reading “Believe,” and a white flag adorned with USC’s Block C logo and numerous player autographs.
His commitment to the team prompted USC fans to set up a GoFundMe in 2017, raising over $8,000 to send him to the Final Four in Phoenix.
Thompson, a registered nurse with a degree from USC, served at Columbia’s Veterans Administration Hospital for 33 years.
Tribute To The Gamecock Jesus
Following his passing, notable figures in Gamecock circles have paid heartfelt tributes to the life and legacy of Thompson.
In a social media post, Gamecock Athletics paid homage to Thompson, expressing,
“Carlton Thompson, our beloved ‘Gamecock Jesus’ has the best seat in the house tonight. He loved his gamecocks. We loved him.”
During their home game on Wednesday night, the Gamecocks women’s basketball team observed a moment of silence in honor of Gamecock Jesus.
Sharing their sentiments on social media, the Gamecock women’s basketball team conveyed,
“Our hearts are heavy but also so full of the love you poured into every Gamecock.”