Syracuse basketball, Glens Falls graduate Girard enters NBA Draft, NCAA transfer portal

Syracuse guard Joseph Girard III, right, drives the ball against Wake Forest guard Daivien Williamson during the second half of a March 4 game in Syracuse. (Adrian Kraus/The Associated Press)

Syracuse guard Joseph Girard III, right, drives the ball against Wake Forest guard Daivien Williamson during the second half of a March 4 game in Syracuse. (Adrian Kraus/The Associated Press)

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SYRACUSE – Syracuse men’s basketball player and former Glens Falls High school standout Joseph Girard III, the all-time leading scorer in New York high school basketball history, announced Friday on Twitter that he intends to enter his name in the NBA Draft and enter the NCAA transfer portal.

“After much consideration and reflection, I am announcing that I will be continuing my dream by entering the 2023 NBA Draft process while at the same time maintaining my college eligibility,” Girard wrote in his tweet. “With that said, I will also be entering the Transfer Portal to keep my options open and gather as much information as possible in order for me to make the best informed decision about my basketball future.”

Girard’s decision comes a little more than two weeks after the retirement of legendary Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. Girard, a senior guard, took the final shot by a Syracuse player of Boeheim’s career, missing a jumper in the late stages of a tie game against Wake Forest in the ACC tournament on March 8. The Demon Deacons’ Daivien Williamson then hit a 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to give Wake Forest a 77-74 win and end Syracuse’s season with a 17-15 record.

The end of Boeheim’s 47-year tenure as Syracuse head coach was announced shortly after the game, with long-time assistant Adrian Autry named as his successor.

Girard came to Syracuse after graduating from Glens Falls High School in 2019, following a career in which he rewrote the New York boys’ basketball record book. From 2014-19, Girard scored an astonishing 4,763 points — nearly 2,000 more than the next-closest player.

He owns the top three — and four of the top six — single-season scoring totals in Section II boys’ basketball history, including a haul of 1,457 points during his senior season of 2018-19, in which he led Glens Falls to the NYSPHSAA and Federation Class B championships. Girard hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in overtime to give Glens Falls a 75-74 win over Lowville in the NYSPHSAA championship game in Binghamton, then returned home the next week to lead the team to a Federation title at Cool Insuring Arena.

In high school, Girard averaged 50.0 points per game as a junior and 48.6 points per game as a senior. He scored at least 50 points in a game on 12 different occasions, including a Section II-record 69-point effort against Schuylerville in 2019.

A two-sport standout at Glens Falls, Girard also led the school’s football program to Class B state championships in 2016 and 2018, and finished his high school career with 6,767 passing yards while throwing 83 touchdown passes.

Girard chose Syracuse over offers from Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Notre Dame and Penn State.

Named as Syracuse’s starting point guard two games into his freshman season, Girard appeared in 125 games, with 123 starts, over his four seasons with the Orange. For his Syracuse career, he averaged 13.2 points, 3.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.5 minutes per game.

As a senior, he played 34.7 minutes per game and led the Orange in scoring with 16.4 points per game while shooting 40.3% from the field, 38.1% from 3-point range and 85.7% from the free throw line. 

A former Elks National Hoop Shoot champion, Girard was one of the nation’s top free throw shooters over the last four years, with a career mark of 86.3% from the charity stripe. Girard was also prolific beyond the 3-point arc, with his 297 career 3s at SYracuse ranking third in program history behind Gerry McNamara (400) — now Syracuse’s associate head coach — and Buddy Boeheim (309), who Girard shared a backcourt with from 2019-22.

Categories: College Sports, Sports, Sports

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