Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said his involvement in an accident that left a man dead on Wednesday “will be with me for the rest of my life” after coaching in the Orange’s loss to Duke on Saturday night.
After Syracuse defeated Louisville on Wednesday, Boeheim was driving home from a restaurant on Interstate 690 when he struck and killed 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez. A passenger in a vehicle that was involved in its own accident, Jimenez had exited that car before he was struck.
Law enforcement has said Boeheim was not at fault.
After Saturday’s game, Boeheim made a statement addressing the Jimenez family directly.
“First and foremost, to the Jimenez family, I want them to know how truly devastated I am for my involvement in the loss of their loved one, Jorge Jimenez. The grief and pain his family is feeling at this time is, simply put, unimaginable. Juli, my family and I are heartbroken. I love this community, and to see so many of my fellow community members rally around the Jimenez family is a reminder of how special central New York is,” Boeheim said.
Boeheim came to the court just over two minutes before tipoff for Saturday’s game. He acknowledged a standing ovation from the crowd before embracing his Duke counterpart Mike Krzyzewski.
“My decision to coach this game, all I can say is, I felt the responsibility and obligation to my players, the members of my basketball team. I recruited these young men to come play at Syracuse University, they needed me to try and do my job tonight, and they understand I did this feeling fully the weight of the tragic accident and its impact on the Jimenez family,” Boeheim said afterward of deciding to coach.
“This is something that will be with me, for the rest of my life.”
“This is never going away, like I said,” Boeheim, 74, said. “Tuesday it’s not going to be better. It’s not going to be any better next week. It’s not going to be any better next month. It’s not going to be any better next year. We’ve reached out to the family, and I intend to try and do that as I can in the future. This isn’t about me, it doesn’t matter how I feel. It’s about how they feel and what’s happened to them.”
A Carrier Dome record 35,642 attended Saturday’s game.
—Field Level Media