Jimmy Boeheim is transferring to Syracuse to play for his father and with his younger brother after three seasons at Cornell.
Coach Jim Boeheim’s oldest son made the announcement Friday on Instagram. “Back home to the place that made me fall in love with the game,” he wrote.
Jimmy Boeheim placed his name in the NCAA transfer portal in November after the Ivy League announced that it was canceling its basketball season. The 6-foot-8 Boeheim averaged a team-high 16.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 21 games in his junior season in 2019-20.
The Ivies don’t allow athletes to play after graduating, even if they have a year of eligibility left, so Jimmy Boeheim was free to go to another school after he graduates in May and play a final year, and the Orange roster needed an experienced forward.
“He’s a good player and we’re happy to get him,” coach Boeheim said. “Out of high school he was 6-7 and 200 pounds. He wasn’t physical enough to play at Syracuse. Cornell was a great place for him and now he’s 6-8, 225 and is more than strong enough to play here. We’re getting an experienced player that understands the game, can play inside and outside. Really happy to have him here.”
Younger brother Buddy said in a Zoom call after his brother entered the portal that Jimmy was upset at the Ivy League decision.
“We worked out every day together (last summer),” Buddy said. “I was really looking forward to see what he was going to do this year. He was going to have a big year.”
Now that year will come playing during his dad’s 46th season as head coach at his alma mater. And that’s a good thing for the coach and wife Juli.
“We’re happy,” Jim Boeheim said. “It’s a privilege to be able to coach your sons. The drawback in the beginning was I wanted him to be able to play. Buddy was able to play a little bit quicker because of his position and he was more physical at his position. Jimmy needed time. He really could have played here last year as a junior, but he liked Cornell. He wanted to finish there with his group of guys. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do that. He’ll be ready when he gets here.”
Coach Boeheim said Jimmy would not have made the move if Marek Dolezaj had decided to come back for a fifth year. Dolezaj announced just over a week ago that he would pursue a professional career.
“They’re basically the same type player,” Jim Boeheim said. “He (Jimmy) wanted to make sure there was a place. We had a lot of forwards and now we don’t. We need that depth at forward. Marek, though, was a big key because they play the same way, really.”
Coach Boeheim said he had not heard from swingman Alan Griffin but does not expect him to return. Also gone are forward Robert Braswell, who entered the transfer portal, and forward Quincy Guerrier also has plans to test the NBA waters.