SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Jimmy Boeheim dreamed one day of putting on a Syracuse uniform. Today, that dream became a reality, as Jimmy announced that he would be transferring to Syracuse to play of his dad next season.
“It means a lot playing with Buddy, playing for my dad and playing for my hometown. I think that I’m a little different than Buddy in the fact that he always knew he wanted to come to Syracuse. He knew that was his dream. For me, I always dreamt of getting an Ivy League degree and playing in the Ivy League. For me, it happened more recently than him. Nonetheless, it’s a dream come true,” Jimmy said in a press conference Friday.
Jimmy played three seasons at Cornell. He missed his senior season this past year after the Ivy League cancelled its season due to the pandemic. Jimmy is set to graduate from Cornell this May.
With the recent exodus of players leaving the program, the door opened for Jimmy to come play for his hall-of-fame dad. But that doesn’t this decision was a slam dunk.
“Until the last few weeks, I wasn’t sure. We had to wait and see who would leave and make sure it was the right decision,” Jimmy said. “I wasn’t going to come if we had 5-or-6 forwards. The way the new transfer rule is, and the way things played out, it ended up being a good fit.”
As a junior, Jimmy was fifth in the Ivy League in scoring and 10th in rebounding. He averaged nearly 17 points and six rebounds per game for the Big Red. On November 20, 2019 Jimmy scored 25 points in a loss at Syracuse.
Brian Earl, Jimmy’s coach at Cornell, was in favor of bringing him back for his final year of eligibility, but with the rules that govern Ivy League eligibility made that near impossible.
“I made it clear that we would want to have him back. But I’m a realist and it would have taken a lot of work, in a lot of different areas, for us to retain him,” Earl said.
The tug on the hearts strings to return home were strong for Jimmy, and the payoff was telling his family he was going to wear orange to end his college career. Jimmy told the media that his mom was his biggest recruiter, but his dad was a close second.
“He tried to contain (the excitement) a little bit, but we could immediately tell how excited he was. My mom was in the background screaming and crying. It was just really special.”
With the worst kept secret finally out of the bag, Jimmy is ready to do what he has been doing his entire life.
“All I want to do is play. I just want to hoop. I’m happy the decision is out there. It’s been awesome hearing from all the fans. I’ve just been smiling the last three hours.”