Athletic skill seldom waits for developmental maturity to blossom. It's obvious from the beginning, as is demonstrated by the case of Matt Bouldin. A few years back, my wife was an assistant principal of St. Thomas More School, a K-8 facility that's in the Archdiocese of Denver system, and she remembers young Matt as being a veritable prodigy at any sport he attempted. He subsequently moved on to ThunderRidge High School, where he helped lead the boys' basketball team to the state finals in 2004 and 2005. And while the squad fell short of championships both years, Bouldin still managed to land at Gonzaga University, a perennial NCAA b-ball overachiever in Spokane, Washington. He got more and more playing time over the course of his first two years in a 'Zag uniform, and now, as a junior, he's coming into his own. Example: On Sunday, Bouldin scored 17 points, thanks mostly to a deadly outside-shooting touch, to help Gonzaga defeat a bigger, more physical Tennessee crew 83-74 and take first place in the Old Spice Classic, a tough tournament in Orlando, Florida. At this writing, Gonzaga is undefeated and ranked ninth in the nation.
Anyone who saw Bouldin play as a kid would have expected nothing less. -- Michael Roberts