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John Underwood
December 09, 1963
Hunting for tall, talented athletes, the college basketball coach becomes the sharpest-toothed tiger in the jungle
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December 09, 1963

Go Get 'em, Coaches!

Hunting for tall, talented athletes, the college basketball coach becomes the sharpest-toothed tiger in the jungle

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There were two prospects McKinney considered must-gets last spring. In quest of one of them, Jim Boshart of Walt Whitman High, Huntington Station, Long Island, the coach rented a car in New York City, picked up one of his former players, Dave Budd of the Knickerbockers, whose sister is married to Mc-Kinney's son, and headed out to Long Island. He took Budd along for company, he said, "and because this boy reminds me of you, Dave. Except he talks. You said about two words a season when you came to Winston-Salem."

Jim Boshart was of a type coaches like to wish on themselves: 6 feet 5, 220 pounds, 23-point average, an honor student aiming for a degree in political science. His father, Jim Sr., is vice-president of the Franklin National Bank of Long Island. When somebody asked McKinney to describe the appearance of the Boshart home later, he said, "It looked like I wanted it."

Jim had visited a dozen schools and had made a weekend trip to Wake Forest. McKinney believed he was "leaning." Illinois and Memphis State were contenders, he said, but not enough to tense up the old clothesline. At the Boshart house, McKinney quickly relaxed into a chair, his spidery limbs working at wild angles, his brilliant red socks lighting up the dark corners. The Bosharts hung on every word, smiling and nodding and obviously impressed. The atmosphere was totally casual.

"At Wake Forest, Jim will never be just a number," said the coach.

"Will I get all I want to eat?" Jim asked, grinning.

"Oh, I think you'll manage. You met Ronnie Watts. We're always afraid he's going to eat the trays, but he gets by."

Jim said he had found the campus "very friendly."

"Well, you really get to know your friends on game nights," said McKinney. "In our small gym, the folks come and sit right on your shoulder. Did I tell you we're scheduled to play in the Garden, year after next?"

Mr. Boshart nudged his wife. "We'll catch that one, won't we, Mother?"

The Bosharts took McKinney out to show him the huge back porch. Jim stayed back to ply Dave Budd with questions about the pros ("Can Chamberlain really press 300 pounds?").

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