Former Syracuse basketball star Demetris Nichols to return to Alma Mater as graduate assistant


Syracuse, NY – Former Syracuse basketball star Demetris Nichols is set to join the Orange coaching team as a graduate assistant coach.

Details have not been finalized, but Nichols expects it to happen.

“I’m all excited. I haven’t been able to sleep all week since I heard the news,” he said in a phone conversation. “The door is so narrow to get in. training and I knew if I was going to get into training now is the time.

“I had other opportunities. People asked me to practice while I was still playing. I turned down these offers because I was still playing and was still at the peak of my playing career. But it is an opportunity that you cannot pass up. Being able to hang out with Coach Boeheim every day and just learn and ask questions is great. “

Nichols, 36, graduated from the SU in 2007 and played more than a decade of professional basketball before deciding to end his playing career. A foot injury contributed to this decision.

With his playing days over, he wanted to make the transition to training. Nichols and his family live in Syracuse. The chance to get a master’s degree in the SU and start his coaching career here seemed like a dream.

“Obviously I love the game. I love talking about the game, I love watching the game and I love helping. And the opportunity presented itself to me, ”he said. “A seat was open and I was one of the people they considered and I was honored and privileged to play the role. I can not wait to be there. I think I could help. I think with my experience, as a professional for 13 years, I think I have a lot of things that I can share to help these young men.

Demetris Nichols (left) and Brian Higgins, former Syracuse basketball player, work on the show for ACC Network Extra as the Oranges take on Daemen in an exhibition game on Saturday October 26, 2019 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY (Scott Schild | [email protected])Scott Schild | sschild @ syracuse.

Nichols graduated from SU with a degree in Communication and will pursue a Masters in Television, Radio and Film. He took an interest in sports broadcasting from the radio and TV side, but will likely put his broadcasting ambitions aside for now to focus on schoolwork and coaching.

Coaching, he said, “is my direction”. This is where he wants to make his professional mark. His classes, he said, will prepare him to edit films and help him hone his media skills. The basketball court will act as another classroom.

“I will travel, I will coach guys before and after training and I will help as much as I can,” he said. “I can ask questions and be fair to a Hall of Fame coach and be with the other three assistants who will eventually become coaches. I think it’s just a great opportunity. It’s perfect.”

Demetris Nichols, Eric Devendorf

Demetris Nichols of the Boeheim Army in a match against an armored athlete in the Super Sixteen basketball tournament, played in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday July 28, 2018 Dennis Nett | [email protected]Dennis Nett | [email protected]

The addition of Nichols means five former Syracuse players will now be on the coaching staff. Nichols was a teammate of Gerry McNamara. Allen Griffin was an administrative assistant at Orange when Nichols played in the SU. And Adrian Autry, he said, “has been a great mentor to me.” Jim Boeheim, of course, has overseen the program as a head coach since 1976.

Nichols scored 1,344 points during his Orange career, averaging 18.9 points per game his senior season and was a unanimous All-Big East first-team selection. He paid his dues in his first two college seasons and became an excellent goalscorer and 3-point shooter. He has performed professionally in the United States and abroad.

Now he is starting his coaching career at the place that shaped him as a basketball player.

“I have the privilege of helping and being this presence in the locker room, in training and in trying to help these young men to be great players and to be better people,” he said. declared. “I know what it takes and I will give them everything I have.”

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