Now a member of Boeheim’s Army, Hakim Warrick’s still remembered for ‘The Block’

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ NEW YORK — Take away the new outfit and Hakim Warrick looked about the same last weekend as he did 15 years ago. He plays for Boeheim’s Army these days, not the 2003 Syracuse team that won the national championship. But with his length inside (6-foot-9) on the defensive end and his highlight-reel dunk on Saturday, Warrick channeled his former self.Early on Saturday night, in BA’s first win of The Basketball Tournament, Warrick took flight in a familiar way. He needed only one dribble to drive from the corner all of the way to the rim. The result was a one-handed slam. It was a display of hops, the kind that former NBA players like Warrick can offer. It was also a display of air time offering a reminder of Warrick’s block just over 15 years ago.The Block, as it’s become known to SU fans. The one that secured Syracuse’s 81-78 national title victory over Kansas, giving SU its lone national championship. The one that left Kansas shocked and heartbroken. Its fans were still bitter 15 years later at an Omaha, Nebraska, hotel in March. The one that gave Warrick an unforgettable name in Syracuse lore.Kansas had a chance to tie after Warrick missed a pair of free throws, and the Jayhawks needed a 3-pointer to force overtime.But Warrick blocked Michael Lee’s shot with 0.7 seconds remaining on the game clock, and Syracuse avenged a second-round loss to Kansas two years earlier.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text With time, Warrick grew to be a National Player of the Year candidate as a senior after deciding to forgo the 2004 NBA Draft. He was the Big East Player of the Year as a senior in 2005. He spent eight years in the NBA with six teams, including his most recent NBA stint, with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2013.Warrick is now playing pro ball in Israel and said he plans to retire in a few years. He wants a job, probably in the Washington, D.C., area, as long as it’s not an office job.He doesn’t stay in touch with many members of the 2003 team, with Anthony being an exception. He hasn’t spoken with Boeheim in a year or so, but his legacy in central New York — cemented in that singular block — lives on.“I haven’t seen G-Mac in a while,” Warrick said. “But when we talk about old stories like the 2003 title, we don’t skip a beat.”center_img Published on July 26, 2018 at 8:47 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 After a one-year hiatus, Warrick, 36, is back for Boeheim’s Army as the oldest player on the roster. Although he helped start the team in 2015, he has occupied a diminished role. He doesn’t start and played only sparingly this weekend. He does not have the same responsibility he once held: As a sophomore power forward for the Orange, he averaged 14.8 points per game on the 2002-03 title team, second only to Carmelo Anthony.For Warrick, The Block pops up in his head every month or so. He has no choice. When he’s playing overseas, coaches recognize his name and link him to the 2003 title game, Warrick said. They think of the tall, thin sophomore for the Orange who helped SU win its only national title. They ask him about Anthony, Syracuse, Boeheim, and of course The Block itself.Every March, when the NCAA Tournament is on TV, Warrick said he replays the block in his mind. Over and over, he visualizes the dying seconds of the 2003 title game.“It seems like it was yesterday,” Warrick said last weekend. “It’s something you always want to be a part of. Whenever I see a Kansas fan, they hate me … I was playing center, didn’t think I was going to get out there, so I just wanted to contest and try not to get the foul.”He arrived to SU as the lowest-rated out of the five incoming freshmen. He was shy and quiet. His mom often begged him to speak more and explain how he was liking SU. He rarely elaborated, but he became known for his ear-to-ear smile on the court. He hid behind his close friend, Anthony, the superstar freshman on the title team.“Warrick weighed 160 pounds when he came in here as a freshman and he was pretty good,” Boeheim said last fall, comparing then-freshman Marek Dolezaj’s frame to that of Warrick. “He never weighed more than 180.”last_img read more