On Saturday, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim made his return to the court after being involved in a fatal car accident that took the life of 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez on Wednesday. The longtime coach said he made the decision out of obligation to his players and was done "feeling fully the weight of the tragic accident and its impact on the Jimenez family."
Boeheim took the court for the first time since the accident to lead the Orange against Duke. Prior to tip-off, Syracuse held a moment of silence for the Jimenez family with a public announcement about the death that was said in both English and Spanish. Boeheim told the media how "devastated" the accident makes him feel after his team's 75-65 loss to the Blue Devils.
"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," Boeheim began. "The grief and pain his family is feeling at this time is, simply put, unimaginable. Juli, my family and I are heartbroken."
He then went on to explain why he took the bench during such a troubling time.
"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," Boeheim said. "They understand I did this feeling fully the weight of the tragic accident and its impact on the Jimenez family. This is something that will be with me, for the rest of my life."
Finally, Boeheim turned the attention toward the grieving family.
"Tuesday, it's not going to be any 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" Boeheim said. "We've reached out to the family. I intend to do that as I can in the future. This isn't about me, and it doesn't matter how I feel. It's how they feel and what has happened to them."