You know who he is. He‚Äôs New York state‚Äôs all-time leading scorer on the hardwood and a three-time All-State quarterback on the gridiron. He grew up just three hours away from Syracuse. He‚Äôs drawn early comparisons to Gerry McNamara. He is Joe Girard III.
Perhaps the most talked about recruit of Jim Boeheim‚Äôs 2019 class, Girard has taken Central New York by storm over the past few years, but he‚Äôs really become an absolute celebrity since his commitment to Syracuse back on October 14, 2018. So what‚Äôs happened in the high school senior‚Äôs life since then? Well, buckle up because we‚Äôre about to take you on the incredible ride that Girard has had in the last six months.
November 24, 2018 ‚Äì Quarterbacks Glens Falls to a Class B State Title at the Dome
As good as Girard is on the basketball court (and we‚Äôll get to how good he is in just a bit), he was also an incredibly talented football player in high school and showed exactly why in a 55-32 win over Batavia in the Loud House just a little over a month after his commitment. Girard slung the ball over Ernie Davis Legends Field to the tune of 314 yards and two touchdowns while also adding a pair of scores on the ground to give the Indians their second state title in the last three years.
December 18, 2018 ‚Äì Pours in 45, Becomes NY‚Äôs All-Time Leading Scorer, Male or Female
Girard had already shattered Lance Stephenson‚Äôs record for the most points scored by a boys‚Äô basketball player in New York state history during his junior season. He still had one more all-time scoring record to break in his senior season. Caryn Kovatch‚Äôs record of 3,548 career points had stood for nearly 24 years before Girard surpassed it with a 45-point performance (four points below his season average of 49.4) against Scotia, becoming the most prolific scorer in the history of New York high school basketball.
January 8, 2019 ‚Äì Named Class B Co-State Player of the Year in Football
Even with basketball season well underway as the calendar flipped to 2019, Girard still had an honor to defend on the football field. He, along with Batavia‚Äôs Ray Leach, was named the state‚Äôs Class B Co-State Player of the Year, marking the third time he had been named the state‚Äôs best Class B football player. After passing for more than 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns on the way to a state championship, it‚Äôs not hard to see why.
January 27, 2019 ‚Äì Scores 50, Surpasses 4,000 Points in His HS Career
With all of that silly football stuff out of the way, Girard had all the time in the world to put everything he had into his exploits on the basketball court and made more history in late January. Following another 50-point outburst, this time in a 78-74 win over Amsterdam, Girard became the first player in New York state history to eclipse the 4,000 point mark in his high school career. And according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, he‚Äôs in elite company, becoming only the 14th player in national history to do so.
February 8, 2019 ‚Äì Drops Career-High 69, Smashes Single-Game Sectional Scoring Mark
Apparently, Girard got tired of only breaking all those records that other people had set and decided to challenge himself by breaking somebody‚Äôs else‚Äôs long-standing record and one of his own personal marks as well. In a 98-83 Glens Falls‚Äô victory over Schuylerville, Jimmer Fredette‚Äôs quasi-prot√©g√© nailed 10 triples, 11 shots from inside the arc and went 17-21 from the free throw line en route to breaking St. Joseph‚Äôs of Albany‚Äôs Rich Campoli‚Äôs Section II scoring record of 67. If you want to hear something even more ridiculous, 45 of Girard‚Äôs 69 came in the first half. That‚Äôs 45 points in 16 minutes of basketball.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.
March 12, 2019 ‚Äì Named New York Mr. Basketball
As Girard and the rest of the Glens Falls boys‚Äô basketball team readied for their state semifinal matchup with Olean just three days later, the Indians‚Äô star received the first of many individual awards he’d receive at the end of his career from the Basketball Coaches‚Äô Association of New York. But there was still more basketball to be played and more awards to be won.
March 15, 2019 ‚Äì Named New York‚Äôs Gatorade Boys‚Äô Basketball Player of the Year
Often thought to be the highest honor that any individual player can receive at the state high school level, Girard did it for the second time in as many years on the same day that he dropped 39 points against the Olean Huskies to advance to the state title game. But he had already won that award before. To send his high school career off on the proper note, he still had one more task to accomplish.
March 16, 2019 ‚Äì Beats Buzzer, Drops 50 to Win Class B State Title
He accomplished that feat just one day later when he led Glens Falls to a comeback win over Lowville in the state championship game. And sure, he dropped his typical 50 points and was by far the high man on the day, but it‚Äôs the manner in which the game ended that really encapsulates just how storied Girard‚Äôs high school career was. With three seconds left on the clock in overtime (he had sent the game there on a triple with 9 seconds left in regulation) and down by one, Girard caught an inbounds pass through a double-team on the right wing. He took one baseline dribble and contorted his body through a third defender coming to help and spun the game-winning bucket off the glass as time expired. Don‚Äôt believe us? Check it out for yourself. That bucket ended his high school career the only way it possibly could have and sent Girard on the path to Syracuse with 4,763 career points in tow. Just think about that, from January 27-March 16, Girard scored over 700 points. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
April 5, 2019 ‚Äì Participates in HS Three-Point Contest at NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis
One of just two three-star recruits invited to the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk & Three-Point Champions (boy, that‚Äôs a mouthful), Girard didn‚Äôt win the three-point contest, but simply being invited was a pretty big honor. Girard has said that he chose Syracuse because he wants to help the program win national titles and if that‚Äôs something he‚Äôs going to do, then he better get used to being at the Final Four.
April 17, 2019 ‚Äì Named New York State Class B Player of the Year
Who else could it possibly have been? Winning the award for the second year in a row was just icing on the cake for one of the best basketball players in New York state history.