Syracuse fans give Jim Boeheim standing ovation after deadly crash


After Syracuse's previous game, also at the Carrier Dome (a 69-49 win over No. 16 Louisville), Boeheim's GMC Acadia hit 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez after the Dodge Charger in which Jimenez was a passenger had crashed into the guardrail on Interstate 690.

Jimenez's auto had skidded into a guardrail after driving over a patch of ice, according to a police report.

Doubts about whether Boeheim might miss the game were dispelled Friday when Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack announced that the 74-year-old Boeheim would be on the sideline. Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family.

"First and foremost to the Jimenez family: I want them to know how truly devastated I am for my involvement and the loss of a loved one", Boeheim read from a prepared statement. Case in point: the situation in which longtime Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim now finds himself.

"This is forever for me", an emotional Boeheim said after making his first public appearance, coaching in the Orange's 75-65 loss to top-ranked Duke, since the tragic Wednesday night incident. So far, the Carrier Dome edition of the game is going the same way.

The frontrunner for the National Player of the Year candidate suffered a Grade 1 knee sprain on February 20 against North Carolina and as soon as Williamson went down, the hot takes started flowing that he should not play another minute for Duke.

Police said Boeheim has been cooperating and used the light on his cellphone to warn other drivers of the disabled vehicle after the accident.

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Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim waves before the team's NCAA college basketball game against Duke in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

"I've always felt, in life, you get a lot of things you have to overcome", Boeheim said. "There's just nothing I can say about it".

"I intend to try and do that as I can in the future", he said.

After a heartfelt moment of silence and announcement before the tipoff, the much-awaited contest got underway.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Thursday the team's medical staff will make sure Williamson is 100 percent healthy before he returns to play.

The game set a record for an on-campus basketball game. I can't describe the feelings I've had since Wednesday night.

They will travel to No. 8 North Carolina for a matchup on Tuesday at 9:00, while a home matchup against No. 3 Virginia awaits on March 4.