"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thoughts on Jim Boylan

Here's the latest Cracked Sidewalks contribution from Ray Floriani of Hoopville.net and Basketball Times:

The mention of the 1977 Marquette National Championship team brings back vivid recollections. One of the key players on that team was a local (for me in New Jersey) player by the name of Jim Boylan. He was a tough take charge point guard who honed his craft on the playgrounds of Jersey City. Boylan attended St.Mary’s High School and later signed on at Division II Assumption. In a twist of irony North Carolina coach Dean Smith had a hand in getting Boylan to Marquette. Assumption was a good school and several Hudson County players, liked Boylan, played there over the years. Boylan however wanted to test his ability at a higher level. He contacted UNC’s Smith. Dean told him that he was set at the guard spot but would put a word in for him to Al McGuire.

McGuire and Boylan were a perfect ft. As noted he was a tough player who didn’t care about points - just hustling and doing anything to put his team in the win column. He played a solid floor game and no small part in Marquette’s ascension to the ’77 title.

Got a chance to meet Boylan when he played at the Jersey Shore Summer League after graduation. I covered the league for Eastern Basketball and Boylan was on one of the teams. In some media guide shots and on the floor his game face portrayed him as tough as nails. He had the look of a ‘dead end kid’ from a Leo Gorcey movie but on meeting him I found Boylan to be very soft spoken, cooperative and a personable type who went out of his way to say hello and explain some concept to a writer trying to get more insight.

Boylan later coached in college and is now an assistant coach in the NBA. Not a flashy type player who could get on Sportscenter, Boylan today is still revered and widely respected in Jersey City basketball annals.

Ray Floriani

1 comment:

Aquamanatee said...


A thought......that Eastern Basketball was a terrific magazine during a magnificent period for the region...so, thanks for that!

Jim was Mike Boylan's brother, right? [Mike played at St. Peter's Prep and in his senior year ('69) led Prep to the Parochial A final against Bishop Eustace. He continued his hoop career at Assumption as well.]