White Sox

CSN to air documentary on Miles Boykin's unlikely journey to Notre Dame

CSN to air documentary on Miles Boykin's unlikely journey to Notre Dame


Comcast SportsNet to air documentary special chronicling Providence Catholic superstar wide receiver Miles Boykin's unlikely journey to Notre Dame.


“Play Like a Champion: Miles Boykin’s Journey to Notre Dame presented by U.S. Marines,” narrated by Chuck Garfien, premieres Thursday, September 3 at 7:00 PM CT on Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com


Chicago, IL (August 31, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com, the regional television and digital home for the most comprehensive coverage of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football, will provide viewers with a special, half-hour, documentary-style program entitled Play Like a Champion: Miles Boykin’s Journey to Notre Dame presented by U.S. Marines, which chronicles the Providence Catholic standout wide receiver’s journey from being a part of a state championship team to joining one of the nation’s most-esteemed college football programs. 

Narrated by CSN anchor/reporter Chuck Garfien and produced by CSNChicago.com multimedia producer/editor Scott Changnon, along with CSNChicago.com digital producer Mark Strotman, Play Like a Champion: Miles Boykin’s Journey to Notre Dame will make its Comcast SportsNet TV debut on Thursday, September 3 at 7:00 PM CT and will immediately be made available for online viewing on CSNChicago.com following its on-air premiere, along with an accompanying long-form feature story written by Strotman.  Comcast SportsNet will also re-air the special on Saturday, September 5 at 5:00 PM prior to #11 AP pre-season ranked Notre Dame’s home/season opener vs. Texas on NBC (6:30pm CT).

Filmed over the course of the past year, CSNChicago.com captured Providence Catholic’s triumphant state championship season in 2014 in its featured, behind-the-scenes high school series, “DRIVE.”  Boykin’s senior season with the Celtics was nothing short of amazing as he compiled 65 receptions for 1,035 yards and 19 touchdowns, which ultimately earned him the coveted “Chicago Tribune Prep Athlete of the Year” honor, joining the ranks of fellow area preps standouts such as Cliff Floyd, Tai Streets, Candace Parker, Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor. 

Play Like a Champion not only relives that historic season in Boykin’s life, but takes it a step further with new footage focusing Boykin’s family life, along with fascinating stories of the college football recruitment process, which led him to joining the Fighting Irish…a team in which he did not intend to join when the entire process began.

In addition to Boykin, Play Like a Champion includes numerous additional interviews featuring Boykin’s parents (George Jr. & Felicia), his older brother George III, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, ND associate head coach/Boykin’s recruiter Mike Denbrock and Provide Catholic head coach Mark Coglianese, among others.

Note the following quotes from Play Like a Champion: Miles Boykin’s Journey to Notre Dame presented by U.S. Marines, premiering Thursday, September 3 at 7:00 PM on Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com:

MILES BOYKIN on winning the IHSA State Championship with Providence Catholic:

“I would picture it, but the funny thing I would never watch whatever class we were playing in…I would never watch that game because I’d get too mad, like we could beat either of these teams, I’m not watching this.  At that point you just dream about it and words can’t describe what it actually feels like.  Your biggest goal and you actually reach it?!  Words can’t do that justice on how that feels.  Four years of basically year-round training for the same goal and you ultimately reach it with your friends, they’re brothers at this point, you spend sometimes eight hours a day with them on football alone. ‘I love you, I love you’…that’s how much we showed we loved each other.”

MILES BOYKIN on why he ultimately chose to attend Notre Dame:

“The only real reason I (initially) took the Michigan State visit was so I knew Notre Dame was the right place for me, and that’s what happened.  I called Coach (Brian) Kelly and told him I wanted to be part of the Shamrock Soldiers and he was happy to invite me in. The first few times I called, he was doing something…we couldn’t get a hold of him. I think we tried again, then two minutes later we tried again and we told him and let him know I wanted to commit and he accepted me and that was the best part about it.”

GEORGE BOYKIN JR. on Miles looking up to his older brother George:

“George was always the example.  I put a lot of pressure on George because he was the oldest.  Anybody who knows about being the older sibling knows a lot of pressure comes with that.  So George was always taught to go and set the example.  Miles would blaze the example.  So that was fine.  He had someone to look at, someone to pattern himself after, and then you let your ability take you as far as it will take you.”

GEORGE BOYKIN III on his hopes for his younger brother Miles:

“It makes me really feel like I did my work.  Even though I may not have thought I was the best brother, it makes me feel like I was.  It gave me the ability to become a pilot, do all these things and it’s not hard growing up when you have a little brother that’s always there with you.”

FELICIA BOYKIN on her recruiting trips with Miles and their special bond:

“With the questions he would ask, I was like, ‘OK, that was a very mature question’…the way he would just handle himself with the coaches, but as soon as he got in the car, he was being silly again.  I learned a lot about Miles and his personality and how mature he was and how well-spoken he was, because as teenagers, parents don’t see their kids like that because they’re always gone.  But spending that time in the car with him, I learned a lot about him.  I taught that, I heard people tell me that but I never really saw it for myself because once you’re in the house you’re totally different.”

BRIAN KELLY on his new freshman wide receiver, Miles Boykin:

"Big, strong, physical, and he can run surprisingly well for such a big body.  When you see him, if he walked in here right now, you'd swear he's a tight end.  But he's not.  As much as we were recruiting him, maybe one eye was toward a future tight end, he's not a tight end, he's a wide receiver.  He's got extremely good ball skills down the field, adjusts well to the ball, he doesn't play stiff to the ball at all, and he can run. We’re really pleased in terms of what his future looks like as a wide receiver.” 

MIKE DENBROCK on why he recruited Boykin to join Notre Dame:

“You love winners; everybody wants to surround themselves with winners.  If you look at what he was able to do not only on a football field, but with his basketball team.  Fighting through injury, showing the toughness, showing the determination to make sure that success was headed his way and for his teammates.  You like to surround yourself with as many of those guys as you can.

“Being from Providence Catholic, a profile high school, you know the type of football team that they had and the way that the coaches deal with the players.  It was just such an easy fit for here knowing that the background that he experienced in high school was an easy transition and carryover to the University of Notre Dame.”

MARK COGLIANESE on Boykin’s character:

“As a person you won’t find a nicer young man.  Very humble and very outgoing, he will talk to anybody.  Around school, he’ll talk to a freshman, as well as a senior.  As an athlete, he’s very competitive, but also one of the most gifted athletes having the whole package: the size, the speed, the athleticism, the great hands…definitely a special person, special player.”


White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado


White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski comes on the podcast and tells Chuck Garfien why he’d sign Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado (6:15).

Pierzynski criticizes Machado for saying that he doesn’t play hard everyday (7:08). Would he make Machado the face of the White Sox franchise? (12:30)

He also talks about how bullpenning cost the Milwaukee Brewers a spot in the World Series (14:45).

He reveals the former White Sox player who had a gift for recognizing players who tipped their pitches (21:00).  Pierzynski tells behind the scenes stories about former teammates Nick Swisher, Bartolo Colon, Gavin Floyd and more (28:00).

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

It's time for the Bulls to spin the point guard roulette wheel


It's time for the Bulls to spin the point guard roulette wheel

Over the last couple seasons we've had some fun on our Bulls Pregame Live shows with the ever-changing cast of characters at the point guard position. We even brought the point guard roulette wheel to the show a couple years ago when Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Canaan, Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne all saw significant time at the position.

Grant began last season as the starter, followed by Kris Dunn and Payne with a little Ryan Arcidiacono mixed in.

But this season was supposed to be different. Dunn showed enough in his 52 game stint (13.4 points, 6 assists per game) in 2017-18 that he entered training camp as the unquestioned starter, with Payne and Arcidiacono as backups. The front office and coaching staff expected the 3rd year guard out of Providence to establish himself as a quality starter with elite skills at the defensive end.

Now, after playing just one regular season game, Dunn has been sidelined again, this time with a sprained left MCL suffered in his debut at Dallas Monday night. He's expected to miss 4-6 weeks of action, which should get him back on the court sometime in early December, right about the same time Lauri Markkanen is expected to return from his elbow injury.

So, what does Fred Hoiberg do now? Initially, you can expect Payne to replace Dunn in the starting lineup, with newly signed Shaq Harrison getting a look in the backup role. In case you don't know much about Harrison, he's an undrafted four-year player out of Tulsa, who spent most of the last two seasons in the NBA G-League. Like Dunn, Harrison is a physical 6'4" defense-first player who should be able to pressure some of the elite point guards the Bulls will face in the coming weeks. The front office showed their level of interest in Harrison's potential by signing him to a two-year NBA contract which includes a guaranteed salary for this season.

The Bulls also signed former Marian Catholic H.S. star Tyler Ulis to a two-way contract after he was released by Golden State in the final cutdown. Ulis started 58 games for Phoenix over the last two seasons, and is lightning quick in the open court. Problem is, he's generously listed at 5'10" which could create some serious issues at the defensive end.

And then there's always Arcidiacono, a Hoiberg favorite who's fundamentally sound, a solid defender and a decent outside shooter. Arcidiacono didn't play in Dallas Monday with Dunn back as the starter and it will be interesting to see how he's used with the coaching staff searching for answers at the position.

From my perspective, the Bulls' best option might be not going with a point guard at all in the starting lineup. Zach LaVine is on the hottest offensive streak of his young career, and he's most effective with the ball in his hands. LaVine played a lot of point guard during his rookie season in Minnesota, and he's more than capable of pushing the ball in transition.

Yes, I know having LaVine defend some of the high-scoring point guards around the league is not an ideal formula for success. The Bulls could move Justin Holiday to the shooting guard position, and see if he can match up defensively against opposing point guards. Again, not ideal.

The Bulls will be facing the likes of Kemba Walker, Trae Young, Steph Curry and Chris Paul over the next week and a half, and going without a true point guard might create defensive issues that are impossible to overcome. That's why you should expect to see Harrison take on a significant role in the upcoming games, since he's the only point guard currently available on the roster that has the physical skills to replicate in some fashion what Dunn brings on the defensive end.

Any way you look at it, the Bulls will be in survival mode over the next six weeks, trying to scratch out as many wins as they can until Markkanen and Dunn are healthy enough to get back on the court.