There are not many 17-year-old athletes on college campuses. That narrative changed last February at the University of Arizona when Tommy Lloyd and staff acquired Kylan Boswell, the program’s first five-star recruit in the Lloyd era.
Despite Boswell’s youth, the talented freshman can hold his own off the court in any challenge he is presented with. Growing up in Champaign, Illinois, Boswell was constantly on the move, playing basketball in almost every state across the country, but said doing so did not add any extra adversity.
“Moving around the country has been nothing new. I have gotten used to traveling and playing basketball, so I quickly adapt to whatever circumstances are for me,” Boswell said.
Before his junior year at AZ Compass Prep, Boswell was living in California, playing basketball for Corona Centennial High School, leading his team to the section 7 championship game.
Boswell said he carries the same demeanor wherever he goes. On the court, in the classroom or just enjoying life as an ordinary kid, it’s the same formula. Living independently at a young age can face many mental and physical challenges. However, Boswell decided to look at the challenges as an opportunity to grow.
“The maturity definitely comes from my parents. Learning to get over the little things quickly definitely helped me with my maturity,” Boswell said. “With what I want to do in my life, I have to be mature.”
Adapting to a college environment for a first-year student can certainly be demanding. For Boswell, understanding this foundation will help him deal with adversity that may come his way.
“So far, everything has been smooth, academics have been hard, but the basketball aspect is all under control. I am excited to have come here [Arizona] early,” Boswell said.
Since moving down from Chandler, Arizona, Boswell has become accustomed to a student athlete’s daily life. The only hurdle in the path of the freshman is his right foot. Boswell has been dealing with a broken foot since last spring, causing him to be sidelined from any competitive action for about seven months.
Furthermore, because of the reclassification, Boswell was limited to just one AAU tournament playing for Team Why Not, a basketball club that plays on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit. Boswell has spent the last few months honing in on the mechanical aspects of his game as the challenges of a walking boot and scooter left him getting shots up on wheels.
“I feel like I’ll get back into it smoothly; right now, I’m training. It has been a little difficult trying to find my shot back and get my handle right, but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m just taking everything slow right now. The main goal is getting my confidence back,” Boswell said.
Getting acclimated to the college-level game speed when healthy and understanding newly introduced concepts presented by the coaching staff throughout the fall will help Boswell make a smooth transition from the sidelines when ready.
For Kylan’s junior year of high school, the Boswell family decided leaving Corona Centennial and transferring to AZ Compass Prep would help him further develop the talents he already possessed.
As Compass Prep was only one hour and a half away from the University of Arizona, Boswell had the opportunity to become quite familiar with campus life in Tucson, eventually acquiring a passion for the campus environment and coaching staff.
Last February, ESPN College GameDay came to Tucson as the Wildcats hosted Dana Altman and the University of Oregon Ducks. A short two weeks after Jay Bilas and the rest of the ESPN crew took the McKale Center floor, Boswell decided to join the Wildcat family. The new Wildcat had nothing but smiles on his last official visit.
“Being at College Gameday was cool; seeing that in live action after watching it always on television was a great experience,” Boswell said. “Also, the Oregon game was super fun and hype. That visit might have pushed me over the edge, but I had always liked the University of Arizona and Tommy.”
Because of the right foot injury Boswell sustained in the spring of 2022, the thoughts of reclassification began to dwindle within the minds of the Boswell family.
Ultimately, in July of 2022, the family decided it would be beneficial to join the Wildcats a year early, hoping to help fill a void as Lloyd’s true point guard, an area that Arizona struggled with at times throughout the 2021-22 season.
Boswell is looking forward to orchestrating the offense when given the opportunity, as Arizona has a deep backcourt, allowing Boswell to play to his strengths.
“I’m excited to get to play. It’s nice because I don’t have to be the player that has to bring the ball up every time; I can get to my spots and vice versa. It gives me time to show my game,” Boswell said.
Leading up to the season beginning, Boswell was eager to lace up his shoes and step on the McKale Center hardwood. Although acknowledging his injury, Boswell is hungry and ready to compete when cleared by the medical staff.
Boswell is ready to make his impact on the Wildcats, and Arizona fans are ready for him.
“I want to be the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, first-team all Pac-12 and Naismith Player of the Year. I dream big. If I say it now, it will happen for me,” Boswell said.
Follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter