The Syracuse men’s basketball team has a tough game coming up Saturday against No. 1 Duke (the Blue Devils will still be tough without Zion Williamson). It is one of those games where everyone on the team will need to be focused and ready to take on one of the best teams in the country.
But there is a good chance head coach Jim Boeheim is going to be a little distracted. He was involved in a car accident Wednesday night in Syracuse, New York. While driving on the interstate, he ended up striking a pedestrian with his car and killing him.
The victim, Jorge Jimenez, was involved in a separate accident. He was the passenger of a car that had lost control, hit the guardrail, and then came to a stop in the middle of the road. When it did, Jimenez and the driver exited the car.
It is not clear how much time transpired before Boeheim drove up. But around 11 PM ET, he tried to avoid the car in the middle of the road and ended up hitting Jimenez.
According to the police, alcohol was not a factor in the accident. They were unable to determine how fast Boeheim was going, but his attorney said he was driving at the proper speed for the highway.
Boeheim issued a statement Thursday morning:
“I am heartbroken that a member of our community died as the result of last night’s accident,” he said. “Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”
He and his wife had been returning home from enjoying a dinner with friends following his team’s big win over No. 18 Louisville (69-49).
No traffic citations were issued at the time of the accident. Thursday morning, the Onondaga County district attorney told the press that Boeheim would not face any charges for the accident (at this time). As far as the authorities are concerned, it was a terrible accident and nothing more.
Boeheim has Syracuse on the bubble at 18-8, but if they can score a couple of big wins down the stretch, their odds of making the Tournament should increase significantly. Of their five remaining regular-season games, three are against top ten teams (No. 1 Duke on Saturday, No. 8 North Carolina next Tuesday, and No. 3 Virginia on March 4).