NORMAN — The best player on Norman High’s 1999 state championship team was Nate Boylan. He was electric and everywhere, the kind of kid who could go get you 20 in a quarter.
There are two members of that team on the Wall of Fame that rings the NHS Gym. Boylan’s one, and Doug Tolin, the coach, who continues to have a good long run at Oklahoma Baptist, is the other.
The funny thing about it?
Some people swear there was a better player on that team than Boylan and it was Ian Boylan, Nate’s younger brother.
Ian was the better college player, spending four years as the best thing going at Cal-State Northridge and he’s still making his living playing basketball, averaging 33.4 minutes, 9.6 points and 6.3 assists for Kapfenberg of Austria’s top pro league. Three nights ago he dropped 10 assists on Oberwart.
Yet, here’s the deal.
Nate, I’m still convinced, was better than Ian. And, frankly, was better his senior season than Ian was his senior season, two years later. Still, there’s a debate. And, maybe, no right answer.
You’re probably wondering why we’re talking about 1999 NHS basketball the day after Norman North swept the Crosstown Clash at the NHS Gym.
Well, it’s funny what reminds you of what, and watching Marcus Dickinson and Lindy Waters play for Norman North reminds me an awful lot of watching the Boylan brothers 15 years ago.
The two Timberwolves are both sophomores. Dickinson’s clearly the more electric of the two. Rare is the game he’s not faster with the ball than the other nine players on the court without the ball.
If you absolutely need two points, clear out and let him work. Spot two guys up and have the other two cutting towards the basket at the last moment just in case Dickinson gets caught in the air.