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Syracuse men’s basketball: April 7th should be a holiday in Central New York

If we took some time to celebrate

Carmelo Anthony Archive Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Today isn’t just a Good Friday for Syracuse Orange fans, it’s a great Friday. As we mark the 20-year anniversary of Syracuse’s 81-78 win over the Kansas Jayhawks, it’s time for the next generation to appreciate this special occasion.

It’s time for Syracuse and all surrounding areas to make April 7th a regional holiday. We can spend the day watching replays of the game and teaching our youth valuable lessons.

People remember Carmelo Anthony for his scoring but in the title game, Melo led the Orange with 10 rebounds and 7 assists despite playing at less than 100%.

We can show them Gerry McNamara hitting 6 first-half three-pointers showing no fear on the big stage.

McNamara is guarded by Kansas Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Do you remember what Syracuse shot from 3 as a team? How about 11-18! Kueth Duany only played 13 minutes but he chipped in 11 points on 4-6 shooting.

Josh Pace and Billy Edelin out-scored the Kansas bench 20-6. Each of them had 3 steals and Pace grabbed 8 rebounds in his 21 minutes of action.

Of course the greatest lesson of all comes from Hakim Warrick. After missing two free throws, Warrick didn’t pout on defense. He was reading the entire play and was able to react to the ball swinging to Michael Lee in the corner.

This game embodied the entire 2003 NCAA Tournament run. Various players stepped up when the Orange needed them and it’s a reminder that even if we don’t have a starring role, we can be ready to help out when called upon.

These lessons are more than kids would learn in a day of school so let’s make April 7th a day when we provide them the opportunity to do so. Let’s make it happen local leaders.