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Biofile: Jim Boeheim Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Head coach of Syracuse University basketball for 27 seasons. 34 NCAA Tournament appearances. Orangemen won National Title in 2003 defeating Kansas 81-78 at the New Orleans Superdome.

Ht: 6-4  Wt: 205

DOB: November 17, 1944    In: Lyons, N.Y.

Childhood Heroes: “Jack Nicklaus, Henry Aaron, Jim Brown, Ernie Davis.”

Hobbies/Interests: “Golf.”

Nickname: “Bo Bo. P. J. Carlesimo calls me that one. I don’t know why.”

Early Basketball Memory: “The high school coach (Dick Blackwell) used to take all of us sixth graders to have a practice for five hours on Saturday mornings. He wanted to have a good team. We lost four games in six years. We had a good group, we knew each other well.”

First Car: “1958 cream-colored Ford Thunderbird convertible. With red seats. I rode it into the ground. We used to go to practice with 12 guys in it.”

Favorite Movies: “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, westerns.”

All-Time Favorite TV Shows: “Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law.”

Musical Tastes: “Bruce Springsteen. I saw him in concert in Syracuse. I liked him. He’s got tremendous energy. He’s a great performer.”

Favorite Meal: “Veal, fish.”

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “I don’t eat breakfast.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Chocolate.”

Pre-Game Feeling: “Not too much. Just try to get relaxed. Get ready. Think of some of the little things we’re gonna try to do. Try not to get too uptight over it. What is this? Some kind of offbeat psychological profile [smiles].”

Greatest Sports Moment: “You got me. To tell you the truth, I haven’t thought about that much. Can’t think of any one. There’ve been a few.”

Most Painful Moments: “Tie. Arkansas game (96-94 OT NCAA tourney loss in ’94). Or Keith Smart’s (corner jump) shot in ’87 (with :04 left, to lose NCAA title game to Indiana, 74-73).”

Toughest Competitors: “Chris Mullin of St John’s. He just wouldn’t let us beat them. He’s that kind of player. He’s probably as competitive as anyone. Patrick Ewing.”

Funniest Person I’ve Encountered in College Hoops: “Abe Lemmons.”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “Bermuda.”

Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods. Wayne Gretzky. Michael Jordan. Steffi Graf. Deion Sanders. Derek Jeter. Emmitt Smith. Jerry Rice. Muhammad Ali – my favorite boxer of all-time. Sugar Ray Robinson – the best fights I ever saw were Robinson with Carmen Basilio, ‘The Onion Farmer’ from Canastota, N.Y., home of the Boxing Hall of Fame.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “People who really dedicate their lives to helping other people and charitable causes. There are people who do that without asking for or receiving anything. Those are the people you have to admire.”

Future Ambtion: “I’d like to play on the Senior Golf Tour, but I know I’m not good enough.”

Family: Wife Juli, four children.

Syracuse wins 2003 National Championship

(Note: I did this Biofile with Coach Boeheim at a Big East media day press conference in NYC. – SM)

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