Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim advised chick-lit author Emily Giffin on ‘The One & Only’

Never forget. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Emily Giffin has written a number of books that your wife or girlfriend has read, including “Something Borrowed” and “Something Blue.” She also happens to be a die-hard college basketball fan who got her undergraduate degree from Wake Forest — where she was a manager for the basketball team — and her law degree from Virginia.

Her latest book, “The One & Only,” is about a fictional town in Texas that is nuts about its college football team. So who better to advise Giffin than, um, Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim, whom Giffen had met in 2012 when Ralph Sampson, Giffin’s close friend, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (she wrote his induction essay).

Take it away, Donna Ditota of the Syracuse Post-Standard:

To ensure that her portrayal of college athletics matched reality, Giffin asked Boeheim to read her manuscript and offer suggestions.

She had questions about how coaches view NCAA investigations, about how coaches handle relationships with players. She was surprised, she said, when he expressed his opinion about the relationship dynamics between two female characters.

Read that last bit again. Not only did Boeheim check to see if the sports stuff was accurate, but he also weighed in on “relationship dynamics between two female characters.” In other words, the parts of the book that make your wife or girlfriend cry. Let’s see Krzyzewski do that.

Giffin told Ditota that the coach in “The One & Only” — currently No. 20 on the Amazon best-seller list — is “nothing like Coach Boeheim. But still, the dynamic of running a big program in a town that’s obsessed with the team is very Syracuse.”

Boeheim, who called Giffin “a live wire,” told Ditota he reads a book on every Syracuse road trip, “about 100 books a year.” Mostly mysteries, he said. And apparently chick-lit manuscripts.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



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Cindy Boren · May 22, 2014

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