Where Are They Now?
Xavier basketball is more popular now than ever, but the program has always attracted a litany of talented and touted players. Some have gone on to the professional ranks; others have simply gone on. As this year’s season gets underway, we tracked down some former players to find out what they’ve been doing in the years since they left campus. Here we check in with Jim Boothe. You can find links to other profiles at the bottom of the page.
JIM BOOTHE '57
Until seven years ago, Jim Boothe, 69, was still playing recreational league basketball games, plying the skills he’d honed when he was team captain in 1957. It was during one of those games that he realized he no longer had what it takes. He wasn’t contributing as much as he was getting in the way. It was time to hang it up. “I cry sometimes I miss it so much,” he says. “It was a big moment when I knew I couldn’t play anymore.”
It was the end of an era that included scoring 1,085 points for the Musketeers—despite being the shortest man on the squad at just 5 feet 7 inches.
After graduating, Boothe taught and coached at the high school level. He returned to Xavier 17 years ago to teach. Six years later he became chair of the department of education, his current position.
Being on campus makes it easy for him to keep up with the Musketeers, both old and new. He and his wife, Marilyn, attend every home game, and he stays close to those with whom he shared so many memories—although the number is slowly dwindling. Recently, he attended the funerals of former coach Ned Wulk and former teammate Dave Piontek. They’re gone, but their memories continue.
“Basketball is a link,” Boothe says. “The relationship with your teammates is something you never outlive.”