Devendorf: Syracuse Basketball Is Family

Former Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf is now an assistant coach under Jim Boeheim

July 25, 2018 - 11:58 am
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Once an Orangeman, always an Orangeman.

This has definitely been the case with ex-Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf, whose basketball career has taken a variety of twists and turns since turning pro in 2009. After spending seven years with teams that have ranged from the NBA D-League to playing overseas in foreign locations like Ukraine, Israel, Greece and New Zealand, Devendorf has come back to his alma matter as an assistant strength coach on Jim Boeheim’s staff. Speaking with CBS Sports Radio about his experiences, Devendorf says that Boeheim has always welcomed back former players with open arms.

“Syracuse basketball is a family,” Devendorf said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Coach keeps everyone close. He’s not the easiest guy to talk to, but he’s a loyal guy. If you played for him, he makes sure you’re going to be okay. That’s what it is — it’s family.”

Devendorf, who is from Michigan, initially committed to play for Tom Izzo at Michigan State. He changed his mind, though, after seeing the Spartans play the Orange in 2003 – the year that Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara led Syracuse to the national championship.

“I went to a game at Michigan State, and they happened to play Syracuse,” Devendorf said. “I watched them play, and I told my coach that I think I might want to take another look. I ended up de-committing from Michigan State, and it was Cuse from there on.” 

Now having returned to the place where he’s had numerous fond memories as a player, Devendorf loves that he gets to share his past experiences with the current group of players wearing the Orange uniform.

“Everything comes full circle,” Devendorf said. “Just helping these guys going through the same stuff that I went through — I’m pretty happy about the situation that I’m in.”