first_imgA former Syracuse University basketball player began his new role Monday as commissioner of the city of Syracuse’s parks, recreation and youth programs department.Lazarus Sims, 42, is a former point guard for the SU men’s basketball team. He played from 1992-1996, and in his senior year, Sims led the team to an NCAA title game in 1996 where the Orange lost to Kentucky.As parks commissioner, Sims will oversee a department with 93 full-time employees and more than 200 part-time employees with an annual budget of $8.6 million dollars. Sims himself will be paid a $72,000 annual salary for the position, according to a March 26 Syracuse.com article.After college, Sims played a few seasons for the CBA before joining the Harlem Globetrotters in 2002. Later, he was the coordinator of player development for SU from 2007-2008 and 2011-2012, according to the SU Basketball Player Index.In a Time Warner Cable News broadcast, Sims said he is not trying to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to being in charge of the city’s parks department, but that he thinks parks keep families alive. His goal as commissioner is to get kids off the couch, out of the house and into the parks so they can stay both physically and mentally fit, according to the broadcast.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“How they build these playgrounds now, they have so much creativity that these kids don’t understand what they have outside,” Sims said in the broadcast. “And then you meet people, you interact with people, you engage, you learn how to communicate with different aspects of different people in life and that teaches you how to, you know, maneuver through different social groups.”As a Syracuse native, Sims grew up playing in Kirk Park, located near West Kennedy Street, and nowadays still visits the park on Sunday mornings. Sims said he is open to the community telling him what they would like to see done with the local parks, according to the broadcast. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 30, 2015 at 3:17 pm Contact Sara: [email protected] | @saramswannlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *