Milam Boyle - Heart of Bulldog hoops - on ESPN
By Sandy Jennings BCC Contributor
Pictured: Photo by Sandra Jennings
Senior Bulldog Milam Boyle shoots a jumper at the buzzer on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The video of the "shot seen 'round the world" led to a successful, international campaign for ESPN to air the footage on Sports Center.
Two years ago, Milam Boyle, now a senior at Bandera High School, faced a difficult hurdle, leaving his former school and old friends behind to become a Bulldog, like his parents and former BHS grads, Johnny and Holly Boyle.
"I thought this could be a good or bad decision," Milam Boyle said. "As soon as I got onto the court with my new team and started playing, I knew this is good!"
So good, in fact, that last week, one of his court shots was featured on the iconic sports cable network, ESPN!
Milam joined Coach Bob Shearhart and the junior varsity basketball team last year and celebrated an almost perfect season. Milam maximized all of his opportunities on the court and his flawless three-point shot became famous throughout the district. Even more famous than his shot, Milam became known for his love and enthusiasm for the game, and for life.
"Milam's always happy, no matter what he's doing," teammate Corey Jennings said. "It's infectious!"
Many have been infected by Milam's love for the game and for his team.
Tuesday, Jan. 21
Now on the varsity squad, Milam took the court the night of Tuesday, Jan. 21, to a roaring crowd. Everyone wanted to see Milam play - and score.
"As soon as I saw Milam was going in, I got my phone out to film," said teammate Brady Keane. "I just felt like something good was about to happen."
And it did. With seconds left on the clock, Milam caught a pass from Ty Neff, ball-faked, drove around his defender, pulled up and sent a perfectly arched jumper swishing through the net.
"Nothing but the bottom," Milam said.
Keane, editor of the school newspaper and sportswriter for the Bandera County Courier, posted the video on Twitter and Instagram, and told the whole team to start posting, as well. When Keane started the hashtag #GetMilamOnSportsCenter, everyone - including teams from the surrounding areas - immediately joined in to help.
"We tweeted a heck of a lot! But personally, I really wanted Milam to get on the Spurs big screen, so I called the AT&T Center," teammate Jonathan Raitz said. "I knew Milam didn't need the recognition for him to realize how great his play was, but I think as a team and community, we all wanted him to understand how much he means to us. The enthusiasm and drive he brings to practice every day really is the 'behind the scenes glue' that holds our whole basketball program together."
However, a lack of response to the hundreds of Twitters sent Tuesday night came as no surprise to the team or Milam.
"When Brady asked me in the locker room after the game if he could send the video out on Twitter, I said okay. I mean, it's just Twitter," Milam said. "When I saw the hashtag (#GetMilamOnSportsCenter), I thought there's so many big names, so many big players out there, there's no way I would ever make it on."
By Wednesday morning the outpouring of love for Milam caused a Twitter frenzy that caught the eye of media people at H-E-B and the San Antonio television station KENS5.
"Nothing really big happened the night of the game, but things really took off on Wednesday morning," Keane said. "H-E-B contacted me about getting Milam on the big screen at the Spurs game, and Mysa.com sports wrote a great article about Milam. Then KENS5 was at practice that afternoon to talk to Coach Shearhart and I and it was on KENS5 that night."
The Boyles were cheering on the Spurs when KENS5 correspondent Mayra Moreno showed up at Bandera High School on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
"When my mom told me KENS5 would be interviewing me at the Spurs game, I thought this is going to be good," Milam said. "I thought I'm on level 2 - level 3 is ESPN!"
Keane, an aspiring journalist, didn't give up on the initial goal.
"We definitely had hoped that it would get on ESPN, but we all knew it was a lofty goal and would take a lot of work," Keane said. "It wasn't until everyone from the district and the area joined in that we realized how big it was getting. The next morning (Thursday, Jan. 23), Bleacher Report picked up the story and had awesome coverage as well. After we got several celebrities to tweet the #GetMilamOnSportsCenter, it was on ESPN Sports Center that night!"
In addition, Fox29 aired the story on Saturday, Jan. 25, and KSAT12 reported the story on Sunday.
Keane, a junior who already knows he will major in journalism in college, will also savor this experience along with his friend.
"This whole experience made me realize how powerful social media and journalism are," Keane said. "To see the power of the media and its ability to impact so many people's lives in a positive way really reaffirmed my goal of becoming a journalist."
Although Keane is extremely grateful for all the support from the surrounding media, he felt there was some important information missing from the broadcast.
"Something that the on air stories left out was Milam's impact on our team," Keane said. "He brings a work ethic to practice everyday that nobody can match, and his enthusiasm and love for the game of basketball is truly unequaled."
"Basketball means so much to me because I've been playing for as long as I can remember," Milam said. "My team means so much to me! If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be experiencing all of this. I will remember this forever!"
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