Where Are They Now?: The 2003 Syracuse Men’s Basketball Team [GALLERY]
I can't believe that it's almost 20 years already. I'm talking about the time that the Syracuse Orangemen (the name was changed to "Orange" the next year) won the 2003 National Men's Basketball championship.
My first memory of that team actually began in 2002 and it had to do with the Syracuse football team. During one of their home games, you were encouraged to get to the top of the hill early.
The men's basketball team was set up outside of the Carrier Dome and I had the opportunity to meet the team. They had posters that they would sign and it gave me a chance for a quick chat with the players.
Gerry McNamara Syracuse Orangemen
I must admit that I didn't have high hopes going into the season as they were being led by two freshmen, Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara. I had seen McNamara play at the Stop-DWI tournament in Binghamton at the Veterans Memorial Arena.
I thought he was good but I don't think anyone knew just how great he would be the next year for the Orangemen. Side note: McNamara is the only autograph that I don't have on my poster.
Carmelo Anthony Syracuse Orangemen
I had no idea about this 6'7" kid from Brooklyn New York named Carmelo Anthony. I wish I did because I would have asked for a picture with him. It didn't take long until the whole world learned about this man named "Melo."
They were a young team with only one senior (Kueth Duany) with the rest of the team being mostly freshmen and sophomores. Not a good recipe for a championship run and the team started unranked and lost their first game of the year.
They improved throughout the year and made it into the Big Dance. That year, the Big 12 conference was considered the best conference in the country. The Orangemen defeated four Big 12 teams in the tournament including Kansas in the finals.
Syracuse Orangemen Win 2003 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship
In that game, McNamara began the game hot with 6 three-point baskets and Hakim Warrick ended the game with "The Block" which could have tied the game as time expired. Wow, what a game and what a season
Where Are They Now: The 2003 Syracuse Men's Basketball Team
As we approach the 20th anniversary of that magical season, I got to wondering "where are they now?"
If you follow Cuse basketball at all, you know that Gerry McNamara is currently an assistant coach at Syracuse University and many people believe that he'll take Coach Boeheim's place when he retires.
We also know that Carmelo left after one season at Syracuse and was a first-round pick (3rd overall) for the Denver Nuggets and currently plays with LeBron James (first overall pick that year) and the Los Angeles Lakers.
But what about the rest of the team? Find out below.
Where Are They Now?: The Syracuse 2003 National Championship Team
Syracuse Family Designed A LEGO Replica Of 'It’s A Wonderful Life'