ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – There were plenty of laughs on Saturday as the CBS4 Sports golf show The 19th Hole featured another former pro athlete, this time one who is 4 inches shorter than CBS4’s Vic Lombardi.
Despite being 5-foot-5 and 140 pounds, Earl Boykins had a successful NBA career (which included a stint on the Denver Nuggets). He is currently the head basketball coach for Douglas County High School.READ MORE: Without Active Spring Snow, State's Snowpack On Track To Be Below Average
Lombardi caught up with Boykins at Inverness Golf Club in Englewood for The 19th Hole and was shocked right away when Boykins wouldn’t join him in hitting some practice drives on the range. That was one of many funny moments on the show, which included an incredible shot on the green by Lombardi.
The following are Boykins’ answers to nine of Lombardi’s questions from the show:
Why don’t you take practice swings on the golf course?
“I don’t warm up. I’ve only got a few good shot in me, so I might as well save them (for) the course.”
Is that a philosphy you’ve always applied to golf?
“This game, basketball. I didn’t warm up in the NBA.”
What are your reasons for playing golf?
Earl Boykins says he’s been playing golf for eight years and knows he’s not good. “I’m not like these other athletes that pretend that they’re good.” He says he plays “for laughs” and to have a good time.READ MORE: Denver Weather: Spring Style Storm Set To Bring Slushy Snow On Thursday
How did you get into it?
“A friend of mine said ‘Why don’t you play golf?’ And I said ‘Because it’s boring.’ And he said ‘It’s not as boring as you think it is. One you start playing you’ll become addicted.’ And I became addicted.”
Why did you decide to coach high school?
“I enjoy teaching the game. I enjoy the fundamentals of the game and I’m one of the few people that actually enjoy the building of it.”
When did you start playing basketball?
Boykins says he grew up in Cleveland and started playing hoops “probably at the age of 2.” “Literally growing up my childhood was: you get out of school, there’s a recreation center across the street. I would do my homework at the recreation center and play basketball there.”
At what point did you realize you were good enough to play in college?
“When I was in 9th grade (in high school) I played freshman basketball … and as a ninth grader playing freshman basketball I knew I would play in the NBA.”
How did you know you’d make it in the pros?
“I have always felt that I was better than everybody. Even on the freshman team I though I was better than the guys that were on varsity.”
Who was your role model in the NBA?
One might think Boykins — the second shortest player to ever play in the NBA — would have considered Muggsy Bogues or Spud Webb role models, but while Boykins learned some things from those guys, his says the player he tried to emulate most was Isiah Thomas.
See episodes of The 19th Hole on a special section of CBSDenver.com.