GLENS FALLS — Before putting on the orange logo hat and unzipping a jacket that hid the “S” on his chest, Joseph Girard III played a short video packaged with childhood clips and hoop highlights in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Queensbury Hotel.
Friends, teammates, coaches, family and fans alike gathered Sunday night for a decision that was a lifetime in the making.
“If you want to be the best, you’ve got to play against the best, and play with the best,” a prerecorded voiceover of Girard, the all-time leading scorer in New York high school basektball history, said as the video played.
“That is why I’m going to play in the best conference in the country. The ACC.”
GLENS FALLS — In front of a standing-room-only crowd inside the Adirondack Room at the Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls senior Joseph Girard III sat on stage with his mother Arleen and father, Joe Jr., to announce his verbal commitment to Syracuse.
As the video ended and everyone waited, Girard rose, removed his zip-up and said. “I’ll be staying home like I did in high school and committing to coach (Jim) Boeheim and Syracuse.”
After a few closing remarks, Girard sat down with his father to his left and mother on his right. He turned to mom, giving her a long embrace as both fought back tears.
Moments later, Girard’s grandmother rushed the stage to give her grandson a hug for two.
“I was trying to hold back tears the whole time when that video started playing,” Girard’s mother Arleen said. “It all just came together, and I was wishing that his grandfather was here. My parents are so proud of him.”
“I never thought, when he was a little peanut, did I ever think that this would happen or that we would have a day like this.”
Girard’s grandfather, Joe, passed away when Joseph was in ninth grade. Joseph made a point to dedicate a part of the night to him, saying “My grandfather passed away freshman year and that hurt me. Ever since then, I’ve been doing it for Papi.”
As he always does, Girard spent the rest of his night shaking every hand, signing anything kids could get their hands on and taking pictures.
Earlier in the day, Girard told The Post-Star that not even the coach he was committing to knew yet. Coach Boeheim and Gerry McNamara found out in real time like everyone else.
“I haven’t (called Boeheim) yet,” Girard said after his commitment. “I actually have a few text messages from G-Mac right now.”
Taking into account the five other schools Girard was choosing from — Duke, Michigan, Boston College, Penn State, and Notre Dame — there was no wrong choice. But it was his relationships with coach McNamara, Boeheim and the Syracuse area that kept the state’s all-time leading scorer home again.
Ranking Joseph Girard III's top 10 moments from 2017-18 season
“The comfort level put it over the edge,” Girard said. “Coach Boeheim has been on me for a while. I knew him from AAU, playing with Buddy (Boeheim’s son). I was comfortable with a lot of the other coaches and other schools and could’ve fit in there. But I was most comfortable with Syracuse, G-Mac and all the players there already.”
Girard is still a lot of games away from donning an Orange jersey and sinking his first trey inside the Carrier Dome. With his commitment out of the way, his focus switches to winning another state championship, quarterbacking the Indians.
Or as he said to his teammates before dropping the mic Sunday, “Let’s win another chip and be different.”
When his college career begins next fall, it is clear what kind of winner Syracuse is getting.
And if there is any doubt, just ask him.
“Look at G-Mac or Jonny Flynn from a few years ago,” Girard said. “Pretty much a scoring lead guard, and the zone fits me perfectly. You got to have an IQ to play in the zone, and I’ve had good basketball IQ over the years.
“Going in there and playing right away is something I feel I can do and something they will give me an opportunity to do. We’ll be very good, and hopefully we can win a few national titles.”
Tracking Joseph Girard III
Glens Falls Joseph Girard III is on top of the state all-time scoring list and continues to add game by game.
Girard has reduced his college basketball schools six which include Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and Syracuse.
A news conference will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Queensbury Hotel to announce his decision.
Joseph Girard III will make his college announcement prior to the Section II football playoffs, The Post-Star was told Friday.
One day after working out with Jimmer Fredette, and three days since winning MVP at Dyckman Park in New York City, Glens Falls guard Joseph Girard III is on the move again.
QUEENSBURY — When Jimmer Fredette returns to Glens Falls, he usually does not stay long.
Inside Glens Falls Mayor Dan Hall’s office are a few framed photos from one of the most exciting nights in Glens Falls history.
Twelve days after announcing his “top six” schools via Twitter, Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III announced his first official visit.
By sending a single tweet on Saturday, Joseph Girard III let the world know what universities made his “top six” list.
Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III was honored at the state Capitol this week for breaking the all-time state high school boys basketball scoring record this past season.
Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III sat in a room at the United States Olympic Training Center with 32 of the nation’s best boys basketball players last Sunday waiting to hear his fate.
Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III has been invited to the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp along with 32 of the nation’s elite boys basketball prospects.
While most the people in upstate New York were enjoying what feels like the first sunny weekend of the year, more elite boys basketball was being played. This time, in Indiana at the Pacers Athletic Center.
For a few weekends each month from now until the middle of July, America’s elite boys high school basketball prospects can all be found in the same facility, at the same time, competing against one another in what is known as the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.
It’s been a busy month for Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III and that’s saying a lot, considering Girard’s schedule rarely allots him much free time.
Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III was named USA Today's New York state boys basketball Player of the Year on Monday.
On an early weekday evening in March, Joseph Girard III walks into an old brick building in Schenectady with his father, Joe Girard Jr.
Joseph Girard III woke up Thursday morning to chatter on Twitter that Gatorade selected him as one of its players of the year.
Joseph Girard III had a 2017-18 high school basketball season unlike anything New York has ever seen before.
Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III was named MVP of the Foothills Council in boy basketball. Girard avearged nearly 50 points per game and led the Indians to a 20-3 record overall and the league championship.
GLENS FALLS — Joseph Girard III’s final 3-point attempt of the season did not go in. He did not make the one before that either.
TROY — Glens Falls could not stop giving the ball away.
GLENS FALLS — Joseph Girard III reached the 3,000-point mark on Saturday as part of Glens Falls’ 86-60 boys basketball victory over Scotia during the Sunmark Shootout at Cool Insuring Arena.
AMSTERDAM — No one expected it to happen this quickly.
It is playing out like a modern-day storybook.
GLENS FALLS 91, JOHNSTOWN 71
Earlier this week, Amsterdam High School announced its Jan. 30 game against Glens Falls was pre-sale only.
Teams within the Foothills Council, Adirondack League, the CVAC and Wasaren League are ranked in the state and considering I haven't talked about it all year, I figured I should show some love to those teams that cracked the top 20 (and a few honorable mentions).
An altercation broke out Friday night during the third quarter of the Glens Falls’ 104-65 boys basketball win over Hudson Falls which resulted in more than a five-minute delay and additional police officers being called to the scene.
Take away Joseph Girard III setting a new all-time Section II scoring record Thursday night and the Glens Falls guard still had a performance to remember.
GLENS FALLS 101, OGDENSBURG 68
GLENS FALLS — Take the team totals off the scoreboard Friday night at Glens Falls High School and it would have appeared that Indians junior Joseph Girard III was determined to break Jimmer Fredette’s school scoring record of 2,404 career points.
BROADALBIN — Joseph Girard III poured in 46 points Friday night to lead the Glens Falls boys basketball team to an 89-49 victory over Broadalbin-Perth in the Foothills Council opener for both teams.