Matt Gorman's athletic legacy could be his multiple Times All-North selections, his appearance in the Empire State Games , or his professional basketball career in England and Ireland.
But perhaps Gorman's greatest athletic legacy is that he was a member of both the first Watertown High School boys basketball team to win a sectional title in 51 years and the first Syracuse University men's basketball team to win an NCAA championship.
Gorman was a critical part of that 2000-01 WHS team that blazed through Syracuse Corcoran in the Section 3 Class A title game for the school's first crown since 1950. He averaged 19.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, and blocked a school-record 130 shots as the Cyclones went 23-1.
Two years later, Gorman was just a college freshman when Syracuse captured the national championship by beating Kansas. He played in nine games for the Orange, averaging 2.3 points per game.
Gorman played four seasons for Syracuse, red-shirting after his junior year. As a junior, the power forward played in 29 games, recording 76 rebounds and 2.6 ppg. As a senior during the 2006-07 season, he played in 30 games, battling an ankle injury early in the season, and finishing with 48 rebounds and 2.9 ppg.
From there, Gorman moved on to a professional career in Ireland. He averaged almost 24 points per game and 12 rebounds a game with Neptune Cork in the Irish Superleague. Last season, he played in England for the Sheffield Sharks in the British Basketball League. He completed the season playing in the league's All-Star Game in Birmingham last month.
Gorman first drew notice in the north country as a sophomore starter with WHS. The 6-foot-9 player broke the school record for blocked shots (104) and led the Cyclones with 13 ppg. During the Empire State Games that summer, he helped the Central team win a gold medal.
After his breakout junior season, he became the first Frontier League basketball athlete honored as the Syracuse Newspapers' Central New York Player of the Year.
Before the start of his senior season, Gorman signed with Syracuse University. He then went on to another standout season, helping WHS to the Section 3 Class A final again. He averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds a game and was named a Times All-North first-team member for the second straight year.
He finished his Watertown career with 1,207 points, 595 rebounds and 340 blocks.
To read about previous selections to the Times' list of The North Country's Greatest Athletes of All Time, log on to www.watertowndailytimes.com