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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.”

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.

“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 picked up his biggest college offer yet on Wednesday, getting a scholarship offer from Duke University, he said via Twitter.

Glens Falls junior Joseph Girard III's achievement of becoming New York State's all-time leading scorer in boys basketball continues to bring scholarship offers.

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.

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.

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Follow Ellis L. Williams on Twitter @BookofEllis

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