by Bill Neal
For New Pittsburgh Courier
:10 For starters, it doesn’t hurt if your dad could play…I mean really play. I can remember playing pick-up ball with Dennis Boyce Sr. down at Pitt University, Trees Hall Gym. (You brothers remember the good old days at Trees. Not a better time to be had playing ball back in the day, especially when Charles Smith, Demetrius “Freakazoid” Gore, Jerome Lane and Curtis Aiken and the boys from the Pitt team would come over and remind us of the difference between us and them.) But not to Dennis Boyce Sr. It was clear to me then that D.B. Sr. could play with those guys, or for that matter, with anybody. And for those of you that don’t know…know this, Dennis could fly and would dunk on you or anybody standing there with you in a heartbeat.
The hops notwithstanding, there’s little wonder that when I watch D.J. Boyce play, I see where the talent came from. The fundamentally sound game, equipped with first step explosion, the quick hands, the heads up / coach on the floor mindset and above all, the main thing…“heart”…“attitude”…you know that “I can do this man” attitude.
Come full circle now, D.J. is the unquestioned leader of the Gateway Gators as they went in search of their third straight WPIAL title. To do so would have made them the first team to do so since New Castle did it in ’97-’98-’99. By now, you know that was not to be. But at the time of this writing, the Gators were still in the hunt for the gold and ironically enough were going up against the power house that is New Castle…Did I mention Castle just completed their second undefeated season in a row???
As a bonafide leader and one of the WPIAL’s best point guards, D.J. is averaging 20 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals a game. Without the superior skills of former teammates and Division 1 recruits Tyler Scott and Barnett Harris Jr, the only returning starter D.J. had with him was Tom Kromka. But he also had help from seniors Deon Baker, Matt Shorr, Jordan Landfair and Steve Hartnett, all of whom are very good players and know what it takes to be champions.
And while you’re taking notes, know this, Tyler’s mom, Jennifer Bruce Scott, remains Pitt University’s women’s 2nd all-time leading scorer, and his dad, a Duquesne University grad, would play defense on you till your heart stopped. Barnett’s dad would rain 3 pointers down on ya until you got back on the bus…yes boys and girls, the apple does not fall far from the tree.