This week, we caught up with Joseph Girard III - JG3! He likely needs no introduction, as most of us were cheering him on as he and his Glens Falls High School Basketball teammates won the State and Federation Championships earlier this year. Read on to find out a bit more about him, including his favorite places to grab a bite to eat, what he’s looking forward to about college, and a few words of advice for up and coming basketball players.
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Joseph Girard III and I am a senior at Glens Falls High School. I will be attending Syracuse University after graduation and will be playing basketball for the Orangemen. I will be leaving for SU on June 30th and taking classes over the summer while working out with my future basketball coaches and teammates. The SU basketball team will be heading to Italy in August for an exhibition tour and play in some exhibition games. I am looking forward to this trip! When I am not in school or playing basketball, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, playing video games and enjoying summertime activities like boating, tubing, hanging by our pool and miniature golfing.
On Life in Glens Falls
Glens Falls has always been my home. You can say I am a “local”… born at Glens Falls Hospital, live in Glens Falls and go to Glens Falls High School. My parents grew up in Glens Falls as well. My mom is a graduate of Glens Falls High and my dad attended St. Mary’s School in Glens Falls. I think it says a lot that they both went away to college (LeMoyne College in Syracuse) and returned home to start a career and raise a family. I believe many of us feel that Glens Falls is a community to be proud of and a great place to raise a family.
What I love about my neighborhood is that we are centrally located to the places I go to the most - the bike trail, walking distance to the YMCA and Crandall Park, walking distance to the School and Downtown Glens Falls. Although I say “walking distance”, I used to ride my bike all over with my friends, and now I usually drive!
What I love about Glens Falls overall is the community feel and support. It was an honor to play in front of so many supporters and community members during our football and basketball seasons. Playing in the Basketball Federation tournament to a sold-out crowd at the Cool Insuring Arena was incredible! We also appreciated all the people who came out for the Parade honoring the basketball team. Glens Falls community members support each other!
What I love about my school is that I have a lot of friends and know many kids from all grades. Our smaller class sizes and neighborhood schools allow students to get to know their classmates. It is also neat that many of our teachers and administrators are Glens Falls graduates. I like to hear their stories about how school was “when they were in our seats”.
Some Glens Falls Favorites
As a true basketball fan – one of my favorite things about Glens Falls is hosting the NYS High School Basketball Tournament and the Federation tournament. I grew up attending the tournaments at the Glens Falls Civic Center (now Cool Insuring Arena). My grandfather, Joe Girard Sr, was on the basketball committee (s) – so as a treat he would let me go with him to “volunteer” and help out. I especially loved when I missed school for it! I enjoyed watching players – like Lance Stephenson, Dajuan Coleman and of course, Jimmer Fredette. I remember wishing and wanting to have the opportunity to play in the tournament and be a State Champion one day. How ironic we won the State tournament in Binghamton this past March, the last year it was being held there before coming back to Glens Falls! I am so thankful my team and I made it to the Federation Tournament this past March to win the title in front of our home crowd!
A Perfect Glens Falls Day
My friends and I always seem to congregate around a basketball hoop or the football field. Going to the “turf”, our high school football field, to throw the ball around or the YMCA for basketball or a friend’s house to play mini-ball is usually the perfect day for me. For down time we play video games – Fortnite or Madden.
And then of course we eat! Some of our favorite spots are:
Talk of the Town – Buffalo Chicken Pizza is a must!
Angelina’s Pizzeria – pizza and wings
Sam’s Diner – breakfast
During the summer – we spend a lot of time on Lake George – boating, tubing and maybe a little cliff-diving. Martha’s Ice Cream is always a must-do also.
On the Past
My parents tell me I was putting the ball in the hoop before I could walk. Apparently, I would crawl with the ball to make the shot in the basket on my Fisher-Price hoop. I never stopped…. as I grew bigger, so did the basketball and hoop. I could not wait to play on a basketball team. I started at the YMCA playing Saturday mornings when I was maybe five (5). I remember being so excited and made sure I had a basketball uniform to wear and basketball sneakers. When I was in third grade, my dad put together a Glens Falls team with me, my cousins and friends. We would play against other schools and go to small tournaments. It wasn’t until 7th grade that I played on a school team and played AAU basketball for Albany teams. My dad started teaching and coaching me at basketball and my grandfather would give me advice on how to better my game. I always strived to be a better player than both of them. Of course, Jimmer has been an inspiration and mentor to me. I grew up watching him play at Glens Falls and followed him at BYU, in the NBA and in China. He has been a great role model for me because he is humble, hard-working and dedicated. I have enjoyed our workouts together and appreciate his words of encouragement and advice on how to be a better all-around player.
My favorite high school moments were winning two (2) football state championships and a basketball state championship – the only ones in the School’s history.
On the Future
I chose Syracuse University because I felt it was the best fit for me. I built a strong relationship with Coach Boeheim and Coach McNamara and was comfortable with how they recruited me and made me feel a part of the team. I look forward to playing and contributing to the team. I plan to study Communications and Syracuse University has one of the top programs in this field -– Newhouse School of Public Communications.
While at school, I will miss my family and friends, for sure. I’ll have to find some favorite eating spots in Syracuse to replace the places I will miss here. But it is nice to know I am only a few hours away from home if I get a craving for something!
I am looking forward to getting to know my teammates and experiencing being part of a Division 1 basketball team. Like every college student, I will be adjusting to living on my own and taking care of things that I don’t necessarily think of now, but I am excited to grow as a person, a player and a student while at Syracuse University.
My goals at college and beyond is to help SU win a NCAA Championship, obtain a great education and play in the NBA.
Words of Advice for Up-and-Coming Basketball Players
Work hard and practice hard. Playing with older kids who were bigger and faster than me pushed me to work harder. If you set a goal for yourself – do what it takes to reach that goal. There will be sacrifices along the way – but trust me, it is worth it!