When he was eleven, Ewing's family moved from Jamaica to the United States, where he learned to play basketball. By the time he was a senior at Cambridge, MA, Latin School, he was 7 feet tall, weighed 240 pounds, and was sought by a lot of college coaches. He elected to go to Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
At Georgetown, he became one of the few players ever to win consensus All-America honors three times, in 1983, 1984, and 1985. Ewing was named the tournament's outstanding player when Georgetown won the 1984 NCAA championship, and he was presented with the 1985 Naismith Award, Eastman Award, and Rupp Trophy as college player of the year in 1985. He scored a total of 2,184 points and had 1,316 rebounds during his college career.
Ewing starred for the U. S. Olympic team that won the gold medal in 1984, blocking 18 shots during the Olympic tournament. The first player chosen in the 1985 NBA draft, by the New York Knicks, Ewing won the league's rookie of the year award by averaging 20.4 points a game.
He was a starter for the next 14 seasons, although he missed quite a few games, beginning in 1997, because of knee problems. Ewing left the Knicks and signed with the Seattle Supersonics as a free agent in 2000. After a season as a backup, he played for the Orlando Magic in 2001-2002, then announced his retirement.
In 1996, Ewing was named one of the top 50 players in league history. He's the Knicks' all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, steals, and blocked shots, and in 1999 he became the 10th player in NBA history to record 22,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.