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Men’s basketball coach Dempsey adds two assistants

Former Syracuse University star Sims, Rider assistant Luber join staff

June 11, 2012

Men’s basketball coach Dempsey adds two assistants

Contact: John Hartrick (

VESTAL, N.Y.—New Binghamton head men’s basketball coach Tommy Dempsey has added Lazarus Sims and Ben Luber to his coaching staff, the University announced Monday. Sims, a former point guard at Syracuse, has served as SU’s coordinator of player development since 2007. Luber, a former Penn State standout, coached the last two seasons with Dempsey at Rider.

“Some of the biggest decisions head coaches make in their careers are decisions on assistant coaches,” Dempsey said. “Good assistant coaches are crucial to the success of a program. We are very fortunate to get both Ben and Lazarus on board at this time. I feel both guys have had tremendous experiences in the game of basketball and are future stars in the coaching profession.”

Sims, a native of Syracuse, was a four-year letterwinner for coach Jim Boeheim and as a senior, led the Orange to the 1996 NCAA championship game. After a professional career that spanned more than 12 years, Sims joined Boeheim’s staff in 2007 and has coordinated all personal, career and life skills development of the Syracuse men’s basketball players for the last five years.

After scoring 1,162 points and earning McDonald’s All-America honors at Henninger High School, Sims produced a noteworthy collegiate career at Syracuse, playing on three NCAA tournament teams and graduating with the seventh-highest career assists total in program history. As a senior, he averaged 7.4 assists and led the 1995-96 SU team to the national championship game, where it lost to Kentucky. His 281 assists are the fourth-best single-season total in school history.

Sims graduated with a bachelor’s degree in child and family studies in 1996 and embarked on a professional playing career that included stints overseas, in multiple U.S. basketball leagues (CBA, USBL, IBA, IBL, ABA) and a tenure with the famed Harlem Globetrotters. He won six titles, was a three-time all-star and is the only player in Rochester semi-pro history to have his jersey retired (Rochester RazorSharks in 2008).

Lazarus and his wife, Daphne, have four children: Da’Joura, Lazarus Jr., Lae’jon and Da’Zya.

Luber served the last two seasons on Dempsey’s staff at Rider, earning a promotion from director of operations to assistant last season.

He was a four-year point guard and letterwinner at Penn State, where he was a two-time team captain in the Big Ten Conference. He ranks among the Nittany Lions’ top-10 in career assists (418) and steals (125). As a junior, Luber helped Penn State advance to the National Invitation Tournament as the team’s Most Improved Player. As a freshman, he was an Honorable Mention Freshman All-American selection by Street & Smith magazine.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2007 (3.3 GPA in major), Luber played professionally in Israel and Iceland.

In high school, Luber was a first team all-state honoree (2003) and set school records for career points (1,969), assists (562) and steals (236). He led his Council Rock North team to the Pennsylvania Sweet 16 and was twice named the Bucks County Player of the Year.

At Rider, Luber was part of a staff that produced a school-record 23 wins in 2010-11. He was in charge of guard play and his unit finished in the nation’s top-10 in three-point field goal percentage. 

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