Earl Boykins overcame plenty to reach the NBA as a 5-foot-5 point guard, but his latest task may be taller.
The 37-year-old veteran accepted the head boys' basketball coaching position at Castle Rock (Colo.) Douglas County High, according to The Denver Post. The Huskies finished 3-20 last season under former coach Jeff Riley and own a .209 winning percentage since their last winning season in 2007-08.
"We needed a spark in the program, a spark in the community. We've been pretty bad over the past few years," Douglas County AD Jeff Gardella told the paper. "What better role model than what Earl's done?"
A Cleveland native and Eastern Michigan University product, Boykins averaged 8.9 points and 3.2 assists over 652 games for 10 different teams in 13 NBA seasons since going undrafted in 1998. His longest tenure came with the Nuggets from 2003-07, and he has made the Denver area his home ever since. Boykins last played in 2012, when he appeared in eight games for the Rockets over the final month.
"I'm comfortable with the challenge," Boykins told MaxPreps of his first high school coaching position. "I've been coaching seventh- and eighth-graders," Boykins said. "But because I played the point guard position in a lot of ways I feel like I've been coaching basketball since I was 10 years old."
The NBA vet turned high school coach also founded the Boykins Basketball Academy, which offers specialized training in addition to sponsoring youth teams in area tournaments and leagues.
And, hey, if he could become the second-shortest NBA player in history — taller only than Muggsy Bogues — what's to stop him from putting the Huskies on his shoulders and carrying them to the top, too?