Hall of Famer, Syracuse Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim Seeks to “Rectify” Greensboro Spat, Will Speak at 2019 Fred Barakat Sports Dinner

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and longtime Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim will be the featured speaker for the 2019 Fred Barakat Sports Dinner benefitting the Matt Brown Learn-to-Swim Endowment, the Greensboro Sports Council announced today. Founded in 2008, The Fred Barakat Sports Dinner was renamed in 2011 in memory of the late associate commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 2019 event is set for Thursday, May 16 on the Greensboro Coliseum arena floor.

Boeheim, 73, has been open in his support of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament being played in New York City or other large markets. After losing his first-round game in the ACC Tournament played in Brooklyn, N.Y in 2017, he reiterated his support of large markets hosting the tournament during his postgame news conference which drew a swift response from the City of Greensboro Twitter account and multiple Piedmont Triad media outlets. The topic came up again during Boeheim’s Oct. 24 interview on the David Glenn Show which originated at ACC Operation Basketball in Charlotte:

“I know Greensboro’s mad at me, and I’m trying to rectify that,” Boeheim told David Glenn. “I like Greensboro. I just think the tournament should be in a big city, but that’s just me. I could be wrong. Actually, I’d rather go to Greensboro because it’s easier to get to the game and back than in all the other bigger cities because you have to fight all the traffic. The game is the game; you play on the court, and that doesn’t change. I like the ACC, I like Greensboro, and I like restaurants in the south. Most of my recommendations on restaurants are in the south now, and I have a lot of them.”

“This event continues to be a terrific event for the city of Greensboro as it celebrates the life of Fred Barakat, raises money for a worthy cause, and brings our community together,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “Having Jim Boeheim as the featured speaker is fitting as the 2020 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament returns to the Greensboro Coliseum, a place where so much of its history took place.”

Boeheim is a Syracuse University “lifer” having attended or worked at the university since his freshman year in 1962. He walked onto the basketball team as a freshman and eventually served as co-captain helping the Orange earn their second NCAA Tournament berth. After serving as an assistant coach, he was appointed head coach in 1976 and remains on the same bench today. He led the Orange to a national championship in 2003 and has taken five teams to the NCAA Final Four. He was named the USA Basketball Coach of the Year in 2001 and was an assistant coach to Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski on the United States Olympic Team that captured the gold medal in 2008.

“I am really looking forward to speaking at the 2019 Fred Barakat Sports Dinner in Greensboro,” Boeheim said. “I knew Coach Barakat back when he and I were playing in the Eastern League and later as a fellow basketball coach in the Northeast. The proceeds for the dinner go to a worthy cause – the Greensboro Aquatic Center’s Learn-to-Swim program. It figures to be a great night of sharing college basketball stories.”

During this event in 2016, the Greensboro Sports Council introduced the Matt Brown Learn-to-Swim Endowment which was created to help fund the Greensboro Aquatic Center’s Learn-to-Swim program. This vital effort aims to teach every second-grade student attending the Guilford County Schools how to swim at no expense to the family; the Learn-to-Swim program is privately funded. The event contributed $30,000 to the Matt Brown Learn-to-Swim Endowment following the 2018 Fred Barakat Sports Dinner featuring John Feinstein.

Barakat joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1981 as the supervisor of men’s basketball officials. He was later named assistant commissioner and was then promoted to associate commissioner, director of men’s basketball. For 16 years he served as the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament director along with his other basketball responsibilities that included scheduling, managing the league’s television partners and officiating. He passed away in 2010.

The Fred Barakat Sports Dinner is open to the general public. Individual tickets are $95, tables of 10 are $850 and corporate partnerships are available through the Greensboro Sports Council; please visit: www.greensborosportscouncil.com or contact CJ Johnston at cj@greensborosportscouncil.com or (336) 433-7261. For additional information on the Learn-to-Swim program, please visit www.greensboroaquaticcenter.com/learn-to-swim.

The Fred Barakat Sports Dinner highlights significant figures in or related to the Atlantic Coast Conference or one of its sports. Previous featured guests at the event are former ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan, Duke University Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski, ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, best-selling author John Feinstein, ESPN college basketball analyst and Duke alumnus Jay Bilas, CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg and CBS Sports golf analyst Gary McCord.

The dinner occasionally features roundtable discussions such as “Legends of the ACC” with Duke’s Mike Gminski, North Carolina’s Phil Ford, NC State’s Derrick Whittenburg and Wake Forest’s Randolph Childress, “Coaches of the ACC” featuring Wake Forest’s Dave Odom, Maryland’s Gary Williams, Georgia Tech’s Bobby Cremins and NC State’s Les Robinson and a reunion of the 1974 NC State University NCAA National Championship team with David Thompson, Monte Towe, Tommy Burleson and assistant coach Eddie Biedenbach.

Founded in 1959, the Greensboro Sports Council is the official host organization for the Greensboro Coliseum Complex providing hospitality, resources and community interaction for events held at the Coliseum Complex. The Sports Council supports sports events in Greensboro and Guilford County such as the ACC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, the Wyndham Championship PGA TOUR event, US Figure Skating Championships, the ACC Women’s and Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, various NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, the ACC Women’s Golf Tournament at Sedgefield Country Club, the United States Olympic Committee Table Tennis Olympic Trials, the ACC Baseball Tournament when applicable as well as any NCAA Championships hosted in the area.

In addition, the Council hosts the HAECO Invitational high school basketball tournament each December. Founded in 1976, this annual event donates its proceeds to charity and the participating schools each year.