Going from orange to green and from college to the pros may be a difficult task for some, but it sure becomes a lot easier when you have a former collegiate teammate to share the journey with.
Former Syracuse stars Fab Melo and Kris Joseph started Thursday night hoping to hear their names called so they could finally achieve their dreams of becoming professional basketball players. During the course of the night both were selected but there was a pleasant, unexpected surprise to make the night even better. Melo and Joseph both were taken by the Boston Celtics, and will now get to begin their NBA careers together.
Melo was selected with the 22nd pick of the draft (right after Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger who will also be a Celtic) and Joseph went in the second round with the 51st selection. Although Syracuse is ‘New York’s College Team’ this draft will immediately cause supporters of the Orange to have additional interest in the Boston Celtics for the next few years.
Kris Jo was always a fan favorite during his four-year college career and every Cuse fan out there will be pulling for him to make an impact and be successful in Boston. Although Fab Melo didn’t leave Syracuse on the best note, with his academic suspension that forced him to sit out the NCAA Tournament, I think most members of the Orange faithful will be rooting for Fab to succeed.
This is the case because since Carmelo Anthony was drafted in 2003, the Syracuse program has struggled to produce players that are difference makers at the NBA level. If Fab can develop into a serviceable NBA center then he can help shed this reputation that has started to haunt the team and fans may eventually forgive him for his troubles in the classroom that could have cost Syracuse a spot in this year’s Final Four.
In addition, the bigger the presence that the Orange have in the NBA, the better it becomes for their future recruiting efforts. Fab and Kris Jo have already given so much to Syracuse University and its basketball team but if they can manage to both live up to their potential with the Celtics then their legacies will continue to grow and they will help ensure that the program continues to sustain its long term success as it make the move to the ACC next year.