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Good things happen to good people

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Oct. 24, 2005

Leo Durocher once said that nice guys finish last. Hey, Leo, you are so wrong ... what about Jim Boeheim?

The Syracuse coach is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. Talk about a class guy, someone who reaches out and gives to others, who does so much for charity. Look at what he has done in the battle against cancer, and Jimmy B. is a cancer survivor himself, along with fellow Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun.

Boeheim has added yet another honor to his long reé . He will receive the John R. Wooden Award as a Legend of Coaching, presented out in Los Angeles.

The Syracuse coach has won 703 games in his 29 seasons with the Orange. He led them to the 2003 national championship down in New Orleans, and most of all, he has been consistent, loyal, hard worker for the school.

Mr. Durocher, you were so wrong because you never met Mr. Boeheim. He is certainly a superstar, and it is great to see him get the kind of recognition he is receiving now. For many years, even some Syracuse loyalists had some doubts.

He is simply a nice guy, like a professor, who sat back and did his thing. Boeheim has always coached his heart out and he has proven he knows how to handle people. I am so happy for him and his family.

Boeheim truly deserves the Wooden Legend Award.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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