SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Saturday, Jan. 27, will be a very special day at the JMA Wireless Dome as former SU basketball player Dave Bing will be inducted into the Ring of Honor.
Bing joins seven other SU legends, including his close friend, former teammate, and the Hall of Fame former head coach for the Orange, Jim Boeheim, who sat down with NewsChannel 9 to talk about his friend and how he is doing in retirement.
Boeheim and Bing both started as freshmen at SU in 1962 when the team had not experienced much recent success. Boeheim said Bing changed the program, and his impact can still be felt to this day.
“He changed everything,” Boeheim said. “He’s still responsible for after him the recruits that came, and he’s always been with our program for 60 years now.”
Outside of basketball, the U.S. was going through a period of violence, upheaval and racial strife during the 1960s, but Boeheim had a close connection to Bing.
Boeheim said his friendship with Bing was “life-changing.”
“I was a little hick from Lyons, New York. I had like two pairs of pants and four shirts,” Boeheim said. “Dave knew how to dress. He knew how to handle himself. He was a leader as a freshman. The leader in the whole program, in the University.”
After their time together at SU, Boeheim went into coaching as he started out as a graduate assistant with the Orange in 1969. He became a full-time assistant shortly after and got the head coaching job in 1976.
Meanwhile, Bing went to the NBA as he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons 2nd overall in the 1966 NBA Draft. Bing played in the NBA until 1978, where he won NBA Rookie of the Year, the NBA scoring title in 1968 and was a 7-time All-Star.
Bing was not content with just being a great basketball player. After his time in the NBA, he went on to become a very successful businessman as he founded the Detroit-based, multi-million dollar steel conglomerate, the Bing Group.
He then went on to become mayor of Detroit in 2009, following the automotive industry crisis.
“If you’re anywhere in Detroit,” Boeheim said, “It’s always ‘Mr. Bing.’ Whether you’re in a grocery store, a deli, or whether you’re in the best club or the best restaurant in Detroit, ‘Mr. Bing, we’re glad to have you here.’”
Boeheim said while Bing should have been the first one inducted into the Ring of Honor, he is happy for his friend, who is now getting his moment.
“I’m just proud to be his friend. To be able to call Dave Bing a friend is better than anything I can think of else in the world,” Boeheim said.
For Boeheim personally, he is now working as a college basketball color analyst for the ACC Network.
“50 years of basketball, so I call the game as I see it, “Boeheim said. “Sometimes I’m right. Sometimes we’re wrong. That’s the way it works.”
As Boeheim is transitioning into his new role away from coaching, he says he does not miss being on the bench, which has surprised even himself a little.
“I’m surprised. I thought I would. I haven’t missed a thing. Adrian [Autry] is doing a great job,” Boeheim said. “I think it was time. It was perfect timing.
You can watch the full interview with Boeheim in the video player above.
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