This Saturday at the SU-Georgetown basketball game at the Dome a record number of people will attend the game. They've managed to squeeze in another few seats to create a new record. The demand arises from the last Dome appearance for arch rival Georgetown while the two teams are in the rapidly descending Big East conference. SU leaves next year for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ten years ago SU won the NCAA Division I basketball championship with Carmelo Anthony as the star freshman. He left after one year and has certainly taken the NBA by storm. There is talk this year of him winning the MVP for bringing the Knicks back to prominence. He is a star, both for the NBA and our Olympic team.
His jersey will be retired on Saturday at halftime. I haven't seen official word that he will be at the game, but everyone I talk to says he will. And the Knicks aren't playing - I checked - so he most likely will be there. He has also contributed towards the building of the Carmelo Anthony training center on campus.
My rant. In the rafters where his jersey will come to rest is a banner celebrating the 2003 championship. Coach Boeheim is featured prominently as are Gerry McNamara (the incredible guard with amazing 3-point ability) and Carmelo. No one else. No rest of the team, just these three.
Not right, in my opinion. The team deserves to be there.
Adding to this is my tendency to like not the stars, but the guys who don't get the adulation. Currently I like Jerami Grant, a freshman who has great basketball knowledge and is working to pull it all together. But he's nowhere near a star. On the 2002-2003 team I loved a sophomore named Hakim Warrick. Long arms, great blocker, and quiet guy. The boards featured sayings like "Mac to Hak" when he and Gerry combined.
During the final game as the minutes wore down Hakim had an indelible block that was caught on film. I bet you could look it up now online. It virtually assured us the championship. But his photo - and I stress - the rest of the team - is not on the banner.
So that's my rant. He and other members of that team will be there Saturday to congratulate Carmelo and be congratulated themselves for their feat. I just wish it would be acknowledged that a TEAM won the championship, not just a few guys.