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Syracuse men's basketball to honor two Orange greats

Hakim Warrick dunks over defenders, and Gerry McNamara shoots a floater with his right hand
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SU’s Hakim Warrick (left) and Gerry McNamara (right) are set to get their numbers honored in the Dome on March 4th

When you think of the 2003 Syracuse Men’s Basketball title run, you might think of this play: Hakim Warrick’s block of Kansas guard Michael Lee with less than two seconds to go in the national title game.

Or you might think of this shot: Gerry McNamara’s sixth three-pointer of the first half to put Syracuse up 50-37 with 1:57 to go in the opening period of that same national title game.

Now, the two authors of those plays Syracuse fans will never forget will get their numbers put in a spot that will never be forgotten.

“Finally,” Syracuse.com’s Brent Axe said. “Where have we been on this? But so well deserved.”

On March 4th, the regular season finale this year for Syracuse men's basketball, the #1 of Hakem Warrick and the #3 of Gerry McNamara will be raised to the rafters of the JMA Wireless Dome 20 years after that national title run. A championship Axe claims they don’t win without the tandem.

“Without those two, I mean, they don’t win a national championship. Maybe it is just another typical really good Jim Boeheim team that doesn’t go all the way,” Axe said.

But they did go all the way. Aided by Warrick's athleticism.

Hakim Warrick drives down the floor, dribbling in his left hand in his all white uniform.
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Hakim Warrick finished his career at Syracuse from 2001-2005 with over 2000 total points.

The man nicknamed the Philadelphia Flyer will be forever remembered for two things: His block with less than two seconds to go to win that national title game and his insane dunking ability. But his game was far more than that. In his four years at SU, Warrick scored over 2000 points, grabbed over 1000 boards, was a first-team All-American, the Big East Tournament MVP, and the 2005 Big East Player of the Year.

“Hakim Warrick was a consistent player, he was a top scorer, he could rebound, he could defend. He was as good as it gets as a player. He was just so eclectic at what he did,” Axe said.

But nobody was more eclectic than the man going up to the rafters next to Warrick.

“Buses, plural,” Axe said. “Buses of people that would come to Syracuse, New York from Scranton, PA, to watch one player.”

Gerry McNamara dribbles in the paint in his all white jersey
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Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara logged over 4,000 career minutes in an Orange uniform from 2002-2006

Syracuse’s all-time leader in three points shots made and Orange legend Gerry McNamara will also see his jersey hosted. McNamara started all 135 games he played in his Cuse career, led the Orange to four NCAA tournaments, and carried SU to a 2006 Big East tournament title.

So when Syracuse takes on Wake Forest in early March, it will be a day not only to commemorate the current Syracuse seniors, but also to celebrate two greats who brought a title to the Dome 20 years ago.

The ceremony is set to take place at that game with the Demon Deacons, which tips off March 4 at 5 pm in the Dome.