Syracuse Basketball: Jim Boeheim helps start Minority Leadership Initiative

Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim is serving as an ambassador of the John McLendon Foundation’s Minority Leadership Initiative.

Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim is one of several dozen college coaches who are partnering with the John McLendon Foundation to launch the Minority Leadership Initiative (“MLI”).

According to a press release, MLI “will provide minorities a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences, opportunities to build their network, and instilling the values of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership, and Mentorship. Participants in the initiative will be known as MLI Future Leaders.”

Boeheim said in a tweet that he is “proud to help launch the McLendon Foundation Minority Leadership Initiative and help provide access and opportunity to deserving minority candidates as #FutureLeaders.”

A spokesperson for MLI confirmed that Boeheim is an ambassador, adding that the Syracuse head coach is a source of funding for the Future Leader position and will serve as an active mentor to the Future Leader.

On the MLI Web site where the ambassadors are noted, Harvard’s Tommy Amaker and Kentucky’s John Calipari are listed as co-chairs.

Other Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball head coaches who are ambassadors include Virginia’s Tony Bennett, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Capel, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Chris Mack, Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastner, and North Carolina’s Roy Williams.

Additionally, Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing, Washington’s Mike Hopkins and Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney are ambassadors. Syracuse basketball didn’t have any further comments from Boeheim about MLI at this time.

“The MLI is about access and opportunity: real-world experience and networking platforms designed to elevate talented young women and men of color who have previously been ignored by a system that lacks diversity and inclusion,” Calipari said in the announcement. “For this work, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate vehicle than the McLendon Foundation. I’m excited about where we’re headed and feel this is a great first step toward affecting measurable change in our corner of the world.”

The John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation, based in Cleveland, is a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities and serves as a vehicle for networking, information and advocacy on behalf of the profession.

Since its creation, the foundation has awarded 123 students with scholarships totaling more than $1.2 million. The foundation is named after the late John McLendon Jr., a civil-rights pioneer and coach who is responsible for the integration of college basketball.

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