Podcast: Professional Basketball Player Monty Boykins and Driven Fitness’ Gary Vesper

Listen as George Muha interviews Gary Vesper, owner of Driven Fitness & Performance in Succasunna, about his experience helping athletes to become impact players on the field/court.  Along with Gary is professional basketball player Monty Boykins.  Boykins grew up in Western Ohio where he was a highly touted basketball recruit.  After suffering a season ending ACL injury during his senior year of high school, he faced a huge setback to his basketball life.  He dug deep and continued to have a successful career at Lafayette College.  Again he suffered an injury (shoulder this time) his senior year in college which allowed him to get another year of eligibility.  He took that opportunity to enroll at Pitt for a postgraduate degree and play for the Panthers.  He’s just finished a season playing abroad and is working with Gary and Driven Fitness to make a run at playing for the NBA D-League.  You may recognize the Boykins name as he is the eldest brother of Julian and Chandler, both of home had fantastic athletic careers at Randolph and went on to play college athletics themselves.

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More About Monty’s high school and college years

His Pitt Storyline

Veteran wing player who joins the program after spending the previous four years at Lafayette
Brings experience and strong three-point shooting stroke to the Panthers’ guard rotation
Possesses good length and athleticism … will have the opportunity to compete for playing time at both wing positions
Pitt’s most experienced player with 82 career games played at the Division I level … has been slowed by injuries in his career missing significant time as a freshman and again as a senior
Graduated from Lafayette with a degree in Government & Law
Enters the year with 538 points, 145 rebounds and 89 three-point field goals over 82 career games
Suffered an ACL injury in December of his senior year of high school … was sideline last season at Lafayette with a shoulder injury

2017-18

Appeared in 20 games with one start … averaged 1.4 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.1 assists per game
Played a season-high 15 minutes against Georgia Tech (1/13) … finished with a season-high nine points, three field goals and two three-pointers
Pulled down a season-high two rebounds in back-to-back games against McNeese State (12/16) and Delaware State (12/19) … also scored five points and dished out a season-high two assists against Delaware State (12/19)
Scored four points to go along with one rebound and one steal against Penn State (11/20)
Scored three points in seven minutes of play against Louisville (2/11)

2016-17

Suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the season opener against No. 4 Villanova … missed the remainder of the season

2015-16

Averaged 10.7 points and 2.5 rebounds while starting 25 of 30 games for the Leopards
Scored double-digits in 17 contests with a season-high 19 points against Sacred Heart (12/2)
Made 54 three-point field goals and shot 35.8 percent from beyond the arc … made at least one three-point field goal in 27 contests and had two or more threes in 17 games
Scored 14 points to go with two steals, three assists and six rebounds during the Patriot League Tournament game against Navy (3/1)
Tallied 17 points and nine rebounds during Lafayette’s final home game vs. Colgate (2/27)
Had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists at Lehigh (2/21)
Posted 17 points, three rebounds and four assists in an overtime loss to Boston University (2/6)
Knocked down four three-point field goals and finished with 18 points, three rebounds and five assists at Loyola [Md.] (1/30)
Notched career marks in three-point field goals made (six) and points (19) against Sacred Heart (12/12) … went 6-of-11 from three-point range
Recorded 18 points, three assists and two rebounds against Farleigh Dickinson (12/9)
Scored 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field in a win over Penn (11/29)
Had 16 points, two rebounds and two assists in an overtime win over St. Peter’s (11/15)
Opened the season with a 13-point effort at George Washington (11/13)

2014-15

Appeared in 31 games, making seven starts during his sophomore season\
Averaged 4.7 points per game, while shooting 41.0 percent (25-of-61) from three-point range
Scored five points, going 1-of-2 from beyond the arc, in the NCAA Tournament Second Round contest against Villanova (3/19)
Drained his only three in the Patriot League Quarterfinal win over Boston University (3/5)
Scored five points to go along with two steals and a rebound at Loyola (2/11)
Had three points, three rebounds and a steal against Boston University (2/9)
Recorded a season-high four assists to go along with two points and a rebound in the win at Navy (1/31)
Netted seven points with two rebounds and an assist at Colgate (1/28)
Tallied a season-high 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in a loss at Holy Cross (1/21)
Scored nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor and two rebounds against Loyola (1/14)
Knocked down two three-point field goals en route to a 10-point effort at Bucknell (1/7)
Filled the stat sheet with seven points, two steals, one block, one assist and one rebound against Navy (1/3)
Recorded nine points, two rebounds, one steal, one block and one assist at Army (12/31)
Scored 10 points and added three boards at No. 10 Kansas (12/20) … went 3-of-4 from the field, including 3-of-3 from three-point range
Collected a season-high six rebounds to go along with five points against Susquehanna (12/16)
Had eight points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal at Fairleigh Dickinson (11/30)
Scored eight points and grabbed two rebounds at Yale (11/26)
Tallied four rebounds and two assists in the season-opening win at Robert Morris (11/14)

2013-14

Played in 21 games before a wrist injury prematurely ended his season … made two starts and averaged 3.3 points per game
Had five points, one rebound and two steals at Boston University (2/8)
Scored a season-high with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting and three treys in the win at Bucknell (2/5)
Added five points in the win over Navy (2/1)
Scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds against Colgate (1/29)
Had four points, two rebounds and a steal at Lehigh (1/25)
Grabbed three rebounds against Holy Cross (1/22)
Made his first-career start in the loss to Boston University (1/11) … finished with two rebounds and an assist in 13 minutes of action
Scored five points in 11 minutes against Bucknell (1/8)
Had an assist and rebound at Navy (1/5)
Collected his first career steal and scored four points against Army (1/2)
Scored eight points to go along with two rebounds, one assist and a blocked shot at Seton Hall (12/27) … went 3-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-4 from three-point range
Had two points and his first career-assist at St. Francis [N.Y.] (12/19)
Scored eight points and pulled in two rebounds against Immaculata (12/17)
Played one minute in his collegiate debut against Villanova (11/8)

High School

Played four seasons under head coach Sean Van Winkle
Averaged 17.2 points, while pulling down 9.3 rebounds and dishing out 3.5 assists per game before an ACL injury ended his senior season after six games
Scored better than 16 points, averaged six rebounds and two assists as a junior
Earned Associated Press Division I All-Ohio honorable mention, Cincinnati Enquirer first team All-City and AP Division I Southwest District second team honors as a junior
Also a two-time first team All-Greater Miami Conference and first team All-Butler County honoree
First team District 15 Underclassman Award winner on two occasions
Netted 12.5 points and added four rebounds per contest as a sophomore, earning AP Division I Southwest District honorable mention choice and Cincinnati Enquirer honorable mention All-City accolades
Played two years of football as a quarterback and wide receiver
Three-time All-Greater Miami Conference Academic Team member

Personal

Born Feb. 28, 1995
Son of LaMont and Lyneeta Boykins … has two brothers, Julian and Chandler
Dad, LaMont, played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and was a two-time All-America selection at Westminster College
Mom, Lyneeta, played basketball at Michigan State
Played high school football (QB/WR) with two current NFL players (Jordan Hicks – Philadelphia Eagles & Ryan Kelly – Indianapolis Colts)
Part of Lakota West’s Student Government
Served as a youth basketball coach and mentor

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