Arizona Wildcats’ Kylan Boswell overcomes adversity, in leadership role for 2023-24

Nov 6, 2023, 8:40 AM | Updated: Nov 7, 2023, 8:16 am

Kylan Boswell, Arizona Wildcats...

Arizona guard Kylan Boswell (4) and Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5). (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There’s plenty of buzz surrounding Arizona Wildcats guard Kylan Boswell.

The sophomore, still only 18 years old, spent the summer traveling overseas, participating with Team USA’s Under-19 team at the 2023 FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup.

Despite Team USA placing fourth in the tournament, Boswell learned from the experience. He got a taste of different cultures but also how players from overseas play.

“I definitely improved as a player, mentally, trying to play with better people who are really good,” Boswell told Arizona Sports on Thursday, before Arizona opens the 2023-24 season Monday against Morgan State. “Overseas players are definitely way more talented than what people think over here. They’re definitely not to play around with. They’re very, very good.”

Boswell hit a roadblock coming out of high school. He underwent surgery for a stress fracture in his foot and joined Arizona a year early to rehab ahead of the 2022-23 season. While he was healthy enough to play at the jump, head coach Tommy Lloyd brought him along slowly.

“It was kind of hard mentally to get through that, but I definitely say it helped me mature quickly,” Boswell said. “I had to understand that it’s not a joke anymore, making sure that everything’s more serious for me.

“That was definitely kind of hard at first, but once you get over the facts and understand that’s the reality now, it’s easier for me to mature and get over the situation.”

Boswell gets his first chance to show his growth over the past year this week. Arizona opens the season against Morgan State before flying to Durham to face the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils on Friday.

Boswell wrapped up his freshman year as a Wildcat averaging 4.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists across 15.2 minutes per game. He shot 45% from the field and 39% from long range.

He was the youngest player in all of collegiate basketball in 2022-23, finishing his freshman year at just 17 years of age.

The expectations for Boswell in basketball circles are greater than what those freshman numbers might indicate.

Boswell’s reputation earned him that invite to the U19 national team, and he is a projected NBA Draft pick in 2024, according to ESPN’s big board. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Eisenberg selected Boswell as the Pac-12 breakout star for this season. The guard has value in NIL circles with Shamrock Farms’ Rockin’ Protein, which is a partner of the university.

Now, entering his sophomore campaign, Boswell returns to the backcourt alongside transfers Jaden Bradley (Alabama) and Caleb Love (North Carolina) in what is one of the more dynamic guard trios in college basketball.

“We’re going to be one of the best guard teams in the country. I’ve said this already, I don’t think people are ready for what’s going to happen with Arizona guards,” Boswell said. “Everybody keeps getting better. We work out together all the time. It’s nice to know I got some guys with me.”

Every basketball player has their goals. For Boswell, it’s about building his leadership qualities to help push the team to the finish line after a disappointing first-round exit as a No. 2 seed last year.

“I try to portray myself as that kind of guy on this team … try to be the main vocal leader,” he said. “As the point guard for the team, that’s kind of my job. I’ve got (freshman KJ Lewis) who comes to me and asks me certain stuff. We all ask each other questions all the time.

“The first game will kind of tell us what we need to work on for Duke. And then after the Duke game, we’ll know who we really are at that point.”

Boswell earns NIL opportunities

Boswell’s quiet freshman season isn’t holding him back in the name, image and likeness space. His deals include his Rockin’ Protein partnership.

The Shamrock Farms product has a deal with Arizona and Virginia Tech, as well as partnerships with several high schools in the state.

“It’s my favorite protein drink, especially as the athlete, the very low carb, no added sugar,” Boswell said.

“For me, it’s the taste, I love vanilla. That’s my favorite flavor. I’ve always seen it around campus, I always drink it every day. I’m always saying it’s for anybody, any fitness level.”

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