Franz Beard’s Basketball Confidential

If it’s Thursday (or any other school day) and it’s 6 a.m., then you can bet that Kenny Boynton (6-2, 180, Plantation, FL American Heritage, #13 ESPN Top 100) is in the gym at American Heritage School in Plantation. He does a daily workout with Coach Danny Herz and it’s all business.

“I don’t know a kid that works harder than Kenny,” said Herz in a telephone conversation Thursday night. “He comes to his workouts with a purpose. I’ve never seen a kid so determined to get better in every phase of his game.”

Herz said the most obvious change in Boynton has been his approach to defense. Boynton was always a very good defensive player but in the last year he has developed a pit bull mentality.

“It’s not good enough for him to play pretty good defense,” said Herz. “He wants to shut his man down. It’s all part of his overall development as a player. In the last year he’s worked hard to become the complete player who helps his team in every possible way. He used to have that scorer’s mentality but he knows he can score … probably any time he wants … but now he’s into setting up his teammates and making them better players.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.