EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 4, 2013

Syracuse alum has brought on a few new fans

By Bill Burt
bburt@eagletribune.com

---- — JASON SMITH

AGE: 37

FAMILY: Wife, Keryn; son, Braedon (7) and Colby (3), who attended their first SU game this season at Providence

CURRENT RESIDENCE: Haverhill

OCCUPATION: Biology teacher at Methuen High; head coach, swimming & diving and varsity softball

YEAR GRADUATED: 1997

MAJOR: Biology

WHY DID YOU ATTEND SYRACUSE?: I am originally from a very small town and wanted a large university experience, and one with big time college sports didn’t hurt. Plus, most of all, I felt at home there on my first visit to campus.

WHAT DID YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE THERE?: I absolutely love the campus. Even when it was covered in feet of snow, it is absolutely beautiful. Plus, sports have always been a huge part of my life, so being able to walk to the Carrier Dome to watch lacrosse with the Powell brothers, basketball with Lawrence Moten and John Wallace, and football with Donovan McNabb was incredible.

DID YOU ATTEND BASKETBALL GAMES?: I was a season ticket-holder all four years, including front row across from the SU bench my senior year. I didn’t miss a game.

MY FAVORITE HOOP-RELATED MEMORY AT SYRACUSE WAS: Going to the 1996 Final Four in N.J. is probably at the top. After they beat Kansas, we sprinted from our house to the Dome to get in line for tickets. That was one amazing weekend. Beating Mississippi State in the semifinals was tremendous, but I just wish we could have won the title. Kentucky was just so good that year. I sat in the same row as Kenny “Sky” Walker & Walter McCarty’s mom. Watching them celebrate absolutely tore me up inside. Some other memories ... I remember spilling a beer on the Big East’s all-time leading scorer, Lawrence Moten. He was actually pretty cool about it. I also remember sneaking my dad into the student section during my freshman year against UConn and then storming the court with him after they won.

WHY I’D RECOMMEND SYRACUSE TO HIGH SCHOOLERS: SU is a wonderful community that is embraced by the city of Syracuse and the surrounding state of NY. The academic facilities & staff are top notch. Plus, the social life and athletics put Syracuse among the best in the country. A little (or a lot) of snow isn’t that bad, right?

WHERE WILL YOU WATCH GAMES ON SATURDAY: In my home with my family (if the boys can stay up that late!)

WHY SYRACUSE WILL WIN: 1.) The 2-3 Zone 2.). Talent & Length 3.) Coach Boeheim!

Syracuse University facts :Motto: Knowledge crowns those who seek her Established: 1870 Located: Syracuse, N.Y. Campus locations: One Enrollment: (est.) 21,000 (15,000 undergrad, 6,000 graduate) Sports nickname: Orange School colors: Orange Website: www.syr.edu Endowment: $1 billion US News & World Report ranking: 58th Famous alums: Steven Crane, author Joe Biden, U.S. vice president Bob Costas, sports journalist Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Famer Vanessa Williams, actress Eileen Collins, astronaut William Saffire, Pulitzer prize winning journalist Dick Clark, entertainer/broadcaster :Did you know ... That in 1961, Ernie Davis became the first Syracuse football player and first African American to win the Heisman Trophy.