Today in History: Jim Boeheim Carries Olympic Torch Through Syracuse

jim boeheim carrying the olympic torch through syracuse in june 1996On June 12th and 13th, 1996, the Olympic Torch passed through Syracuse as it was carried on a 15,000-mile trip from Los Angeles to Atlanta, where the 1996 Summer Olympics would be held. Spectators lined the route and thousands gathered in Clinton Square to greet the torch when it arrived at 10:40 p.m. Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim resumed the torch’s journey the following morning at 6 a.m. by carrying it across the SU campus. The final torchbearer, Muhammad Ali, ignited the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremonies. Boeheim earned Olympic medals as a U.S. basketball coach in 2008 and 2012.

The following comes from a USA Basketball article briefly explaining Boeheim’s history with the U.S. Basketball:

On June 10, 2013, USA Basketball announced that Syracuse University Hall of Fame mentor and longtime USA Basketball coach and committee member Jim Boeheim would return to the USA sidelines as an assistant for the 2013-16 USA Basketball National Team.

“I’ve had a number of tremendous coaching experiences in the game of basketball and certainly working on the staff for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team has been one of them,” said Boeheim. “I know we are all excited to get the group together again and work toward winning a third straight gold medal. “I can’t imagine a greater honor for a coach than having the opportunity to represent your country in international competition and especially at the Olympics.”

Assisting on the USA sidelines in 2010-12, those USA National Teams finished a sterling 26-0. Boeheim helped the Americans to a 9-0 record and gold medal finish in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, then helped direct the Americans to a perfect 8-0 mark and a second straight gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

Boeheim was also an assistant coach for the USA National Team program during the three summers between 2006-08 and aided the program to a striking 36-1 overall win-loss record and just as importantly reestablished the USA team and its members as positive ambassadors for the United States and the sport.