St. John’s Coach Lou Carneseca Honored With Statue

It was classic Lou Carnesecca. Even at the age of 96, he was sharp, funny and deferred all credit.

The crowd had gathered to honor the legendary coach in the lobby of Carnesecca Arena, the on-campus gym named after him. In a 20-minute speech, Carnesecca seemed to touch on everything that happened during his memorable career, except to mention his own accomplishments.

“I see my former players, many of my friends, all you wonderful people, and why are we here? Because of basketball, that little round thing,” Carnesecca said during the ceremony to unveil a statue of his younger self, which will greet fans as they enter the building.

“Victories, defeats, they’ll soon be forgotten, but the relationships that you build with the people you come into contact with will last a lifetime,” Carnesecca said. “So it’s important we remember that. The game is important, but it’s only a small part of your life.”

Behind the statue, crafted by sculptor Brian Hanlon, was a quote from Carnesecca that read in white letters: “To all the players that made my life a wonderful dream, I thank you.”