USA TODAY High School Sports is unveiling the 2017-18 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Basketball Teams as selected by Jim Halley with input from USA TODAY Sports’ Jason Jordan, high school coaches and recruiting experts.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: R.J. Barrett, Montverde Academy
Name: Kevin Boyle
School: Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Details: Has coached Montverde to a 35-0 record and a berth in the GEICO High School Nationals. In seven years at Montverde, he has won three national titles. Prior to Montverde, he coached 23 years at St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), where he won four state Tournament of Champions. He was the ALL-USA Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2013 as well. Has coached eight players who have become NBA first-round draft choices.
Favorite food: Chicken parmigiana.
Most N.J. part of me: My intensity.
My worst sport: Golf.
Changes: I’m still super competitive and want to win every game. As I get older, I’m more conscious that it’s more important to have an impact on kids who you are coaching and their lives moving forward.
Coaching international players: I find one of the differences in coaching the international kids is they’ve had less exposure to travel basketball. They come in very hungry with a high work ethic and they’re very coachable. They want to learn. Very rarely do they come in with a feeling of entitlement.
Biggest influences: My father Neil, who has passed away (in 2009), for years coached grammar school basketball. I got to play for him as a kid. I also got to play for five Division I college coaches in five years. Bill Raftery recruited me to Seton Hall and I had him for about a month of practice, then I was coached at Seton Hall by Hoddy Mahon. My sophomore year, I was coached at Seton Hall by P.J. Carlesimo. Then I transferred to St. Peter’s (in Jersey City) and I was coached there by Bob “Whitey” Dukiet, who had been an assistant under Pete Carril and there was also Ted Fiore (who was then an assistant to Dukiet). I learned from a great blend of different personalities and different styles and learned the importance of flexibility in being able to do different things.
Making sacrifices: We have made basketball a family business. My wife Kelly and I have been together for 28 years. She’s the queen of our basketball camps and has helped us expand. This year, we will have clinics in Brazil, Moscow and China. My son Kevin Jr., works as one of our coaches for the post-grad team, which made its national tournament. Another son, Brendan, who is still in school, also coached this year with the academy teams. Our daughter, Kelscey, is a lawyer now. There are a lot of sacrifices that a family has to make because you are on the phone so much, so we’ve always tried to incorporate the family into our basketball business.
Smartest player: Dean Kowalski and Kevin Boyle Jr, are two of the smartest. I probably shouldn’t answer this one. I’ve had the great fortune of coaching five guys who went one, two and three in the draft. Now, we have R.J. Barrett, who will probably be a first-round pick too. That’s six players in eight years who could go top three in the draft and five of the six will have played for me three years or more.
Secret crush: Queen Elizabeth.
Favorite class: When I was still teaching, the favorite class I taught was sports marketing at St. Pat’s. It was a course that the kids liked and could relate to.