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Syracuse fan about to turn 100 invited to team practice for birthday

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

C (USATSI)
C.J. Fair with Cuse's oldest/biggest fan, Henrietta Auer. (photo courtesy Syracuse.com)

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Now we know of someone who has been invested in Syracuse basketball even longer than Jim Boeheim.

Her name is Henrietta Auer, and on Thursday she was able to sit in on the Orange's practice. Auer is soon to be 100 years old, and her family gave her the best gift ever: surprising her with a trip to the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, where Syracuse holds its practices. How great is that?

Before practice began she was able to meet Jim Boeheim, in his office, and then was greeted by the players soon thereafter.

Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard reports:

When a Syracuse basketball game is on television, there's a sign on her door that reads: Do Not Disturb.
"She's an avid fan,'' Gina Yorton, Auer's granddaughter, said. "She goes to a couple games a year. She just loves watching the team play.''
...
"I couldn't believe it,'' Auer said of the surprise birthday present. Of her friends at James Square, she said, "Wait until I tell them that I was here.''
As Auer sat courtside, C.J. Fair came over to wish her a happy birthday. So did Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis.
"She just kept saying 'Wow! Wow!'' Jan Lozito, Auer's daughter, said. When Auer got to meet Boeheim, however, she could barely talk. "She was speechless.''

Auer is going to be 100 a week from Friday, on March 14. It's the memory of a lifetime, one that took just as long to create. We should all be so lucky to still love sports 100 years in.

Syracuse, which has lost four of its past five, closes out its regular season on Sunday at Florida State.

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