The first NBA game that Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton attended as a kid featured future hall of famer Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.
“We got there early enough just so that I could at least get close enough to the floor to see how big those guys were,” Boynton said. “(Ewing) is like the biggest human being I’ve ever seen in my life when I was 7 or 8 years old. There still hasn’t been many that’s past him.”
Boynton’s career has come full circle in the past week. The 37-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, and the Cowboys just won the NIT Season-Tip-Off in the coach’s hometown. While there, he got a chance to take his team to Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, where he played before playing at South Carolina. Boynton’s name still hangs in the gym of his old high school.
“It’s not like I haven’t been back since I left, but to be able to take a team that I was the head coach of was a different experience,” Boynton said. “… My head coach being there and being able to kind of visit with our team, and my dad was there, just the people who believed in me and who’ve supported our program from afar being able to be there with those people was pretty special.”
This could potentially be a breakout year in Boynton’s coaching career. He landed the highest-ranked recruit in OSU history when No. 2-ranked prospect Cade Cunningham signed with OSU last month.
Now, Boynton is one win away from leading the Cowboys to an 8-0 start, the best start for OSU since going 8-0 to start the 2014-15 season. He couldn’t have guessed the game that could potentially tie OSU’s best start in five years would be against Georgetown.
Boynton’s dad was a Georgetown fan and Boynton said the fandom went to an even higher level when Ewing was drafted by the Knicks in 1985. Ewing averaged 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game while playing at Georgetown. He averaged 21 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in his 17-year career in the NBA.
“I just think it says more about life,” Boynton said. “You can’t predict this thing as much as we try and hope. We’re not in very much control of how this stuff happens. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to keep that perspective through a lot of different changes and that’s one thing I’ll try hard not to change.”
Georgetown (4-3) is coming off of back-to-back losses to Duke and UNC-Greensboro. OSU’s 78-37 victory over Ole Miss on Friday was the largest margin of victory of the young season for the Cowboys.