LITTLE ROCK — Once again, Arkansas Razorbacks men’s basketball head coach Eric Musselman has turned to a familiar face with NBA experience to fill a position on his staff.
The latest hire is former NBA journeyman Earl Boykins — named Monday as the Razorbacks’ Director of Student-Athlete Development — who played for Musselman twice during his NBA career. Boykins was at Golden State when Musselman was head coach of the Warriors, and later he played at Orlando when Musselman was an assistant on the Magic’s staff.
“Excited to have Earl Boykins join our Razorback staff as the Director of Student-Athlete Development,” Musselman said via Twitter on Monday. “He brings sage experience to this program that will inevitably lead to success here at @RazorbackMBB.”
Musselman previously hired assistant coach Clay Moser who worked for him in professional and international basketball; and director of basketball operations Anthony Ruta, special assistant Hays Myers, recuiting coordinator Pat Ackerman, and director of recruiting Michael Musselman — all who followed Musselman from Nevada to Arkansas.
Boykins is another addition to the coaching staff with NBA experience as his 13 years in the league can be added to the collective experience of Musselman, Moser, and assistant coach Corey Williams, the latter of which was a player in the NBA.
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Here’s more on the hiring of Earl Boykins from an Arkansas Razorbacks men’s basketball press release issued on Monday …
FAYETTEVILLE – Earl Boykins, a 13-year NBA veteran, has been named Arkansas men’s basketball Director of Student-Athlete Development, Razorback head coach Eric Musselman announced today.
Boykins played for Musselman with the Golden State Warriors during the 2002-03 season and while Musselman was an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic.
Since his retirement from the NBA, Boykins was the head coach at Douglas County (Colo.) High School as well as running the Boykins Basketball Academy in Denver. In addition, he founded non-profit “Boykins Kids” and has been a lecturer on leadership.
Boykins, the second-shortest player in the NBA history at 5-5, dished out 2,092 assists and scored 5,791 points over his career. In fact, he is the shortest player in NBA history to score at least 30 points in a game when he poured in 32 in a 117-109 Denver Nuggets’ win over Detroit on Nov. 11, 2004.
An undrafted free agent out of college, Boykins played for New Jersey Nets (1999), Cleveland Cavaliers (1999 and 2000) Orlando Magic (1999), Los Angeles Clippers (2000-02), Golden State Warriors (2002-03), Denver Nuggets (2003-06, 2007), Toronto Raptors (2006-07), Milwaukee Bucks (2007; 2010-11), Charlotte Bobcats (2007-08), Washington Wizards (2009-10) and Houston Rockets (2012).
In the middle of his NBA career, Boykins played one season (2008-09) in Italy and was the highest-paid player in the Italian League. Boykins lived up to the hype as he led Virtus Bologna to the 2009 EuroChallenge Cup Championship.
Boykins is arguably the best player to ever come out of Eastern Michigan University. His number (#11) was retired by EMU in 2011 and he is a member of the school’s E-Club Hall of Fame (Class of 2013).
As a senior with the Eagles, Boykins was named All-American honorable mention and he was recipient of the 1998 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best collegiate player under six feet tall. The previous season, Boykins led Team USA to the 1997 World University Games gold medal and was subsequently tabbed the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.
Boykins helped the Eagles win two MAC Tournament championships and they made four straight MAC Tournament championship game appearances. In both 1996 and 1998, EMU advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In 1996, the Eagles pulled off a monumental upset, defeating Duke (75-60), behind 23 points, five assists and four steals from Boykins.
He also earned All-MAC first team honors in 1997 and 1998, and, during his senior campaign, he was the second-leading scorer in the entire country at 26.8 points per game.
Boykins, who attended Cleveland Central Catholic HS, was named the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s high school Player of the Decade for the 1990’s among players from the newspaper’s area of Northeast Ohio.
Boykins is a 1998 graduate of Eastern Michigan with a degree in communications.