Phoenix senior Greg Boyle has been posting big scoring totals for the past four seasons, but almost every team has a player that can score. The unique thing about Boyle is that he stayed at his school and didn’t transfer to a Public League powerhouse.
“He’s been dedicated to Phoenix,” Firebirds coach Lorenzo Donegan said. “He could have played anywhere in the city but he stayed here. He’s played varsity all four years and been under the radar.”
Boyle confirmed he turned down several opportunities to move to a Red Division school. Phoenix is a military academy on the west side. The team plays in the Blue-West, the third division of Public League basketball.
“I just felt that the coaches here would help me improve my game and get me somewhere,” Boyle said. “Most people say it is too strict, but they just have rules. I abide by all the rules.”
Boyle is an academic qualifier, but he doesn’t have a college scholarship offer yet. Donegan, who has been an assistant coach at Crane, Hubbard and Englewood, says Boyle averaged 25 points during his first three years and is up to 33 this season.
“I’ve seen a lot of guys over the years,” Donegan said. “Boyle is kind of small and colleges look down on that a bit. But I think a Division II would be a nice fit. He’s a diamond in the rough for a coach that wants a solid ball player that do it all on the court. And he’s one of the top students in the school.”
Boyle, a 5-11 point guard, started opening eyes two week ago when he scored 40 points against Juarez and made 11 three-pointers. He scored 27 in a loss at Douglass on Wednesday. He was 4-for-9 from three-point range and was able to get to the rim and score.
Boyle isn’t going to be picky about his college choice.
“I will take any offer, I’ll go anywhere as long as I’m somewhere getting an education,” Boyle said.
Donegan, Boyle and most of the Public League was rocked by the news last week that there will be no promotion/relegation after this season. According to a copy of the 2016-17 boys basketball rules obtained by the Sun-Times, the Public League will realign the basketball conferences for the 2017-18 season.
“We went into the Austin game hoping to win the conference, then we heard the news,” Boyle said. “We were in shock, felt like we were playing for nothing.”
The rules were sent out to all the schools before the season, but it was a lengthy document that apparently no one paid attention to.
“We played the entire season thinking we could move up, that’s what we were fighting so hard for,” Donegan said. “Now what is the motivation? More information on this needs to come out, it needs to be an open book. Who is making these decisions? Where is all this coming from?”
Donegan was with Englewood when it ascended from the Green to the Red.
“It’s a great system, it really motivates the kids,” Donegan said. “I’ve been through it, I think everyone likes the way it works. Things are stagnant now. I’m really blown away, shocked by it. They should have been more transparent. An email would have helped.”