Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- The Orange leave Saturday for New Jersey where they’ll take on Rutgers this Sunday.
Carrie Lazarus talked with SU's Dion Waiters about his life off the court.
Waiters talked about his most important relationship with the woman he calls “Ma Dukes,” why he almost left SU and how growing up in a rough neighborhood in Philadelphia fuels his fire on the court.
Waiters says he’s a momma’s boy. His mom was just 17 when she had him; his father was in prison. He says his dad did what he could when he got out, but it was his mom that did everything.
“My mom, she was always there for me since day one, and I saw her go through a lot as a kid and I told her, ‘One day you’re not gonna have to work anymore,’” Waiters said.
He says he calls his mom everyday and when he goes home to Philly they watch Lifetime together.
It was Waiters’ mom who worked on Dion to stay at SU last year when his attitude didn’t go over well with coach Boeheim.
It’s no secret Waiters is tough on the court and some of that aggression is due in part to losing three cousins and a best friend to murder. Just one of the reasons he says he plays hard on the court.
“I know if they was here right now they’d want me to play the same way, so I just go out there and play every game like it was my last,” Waiters said.
And according to Waiters, he's just a normal kid.
“I’m a regular person. I’m just a kid that can play basketball, that’s it. The man above just game me something...I took it and ran with it. It gave me a lot of opportunities,” he said.