Summer 2024

Florida Atlantic's Nick Boyd after game-winner vs. Memphis: 'I thank God for this moment'

Nick Boyd wanted the ball in his hands. The typically efficient Florida Atlantic guard didn’t care that Friday night was the first time he had missed seven shots in a game since going 3-for-10 against UAB on Jan. 5.

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Trailing No. 8-seed Memphis 65-64 with five seconds remaining, the No. 9-seed Owls got possession back through a jump ball and called a timeout. Boyd caught the inbound pass in the corner and drove to the basket, laying the ball in with 2.5 seconds left. Memphis couldn’t get a subsequent shot off, and Florida Atlantic secured the first NCAA Tournament win in program history.

Asked about his game-winning shot in the postgame press conference, Boyd was quick to give the glory to God.

“I’m feeling blessed. I thank God for this moment,” he said. “I don’t even know how to really describe the moment, what I was feeling. I don’t know. A lot of emotions. I told coach in the timeout, I said, ‘Coach, I got it.’ I don’t know why I was feeling that way, but I just said, ‘Coach, let me get the ball.'”

Boyd also thanked God in an on-court interview with CBS Sports’ Jamie Erdhal. Niko Panous — Boyd’s coach at Don Bosco Institute in Crown Point, Indiana — tweeted a recording of the interview and a series of compliments for his former player.

“I can’t really explain,” Boyd told Erdhal. “I’m just having fun. I’ve got to thank God. I’ve been waiting for a moment like this my whole life.”

The Garnerville, New York, native averaged 5.1 points as a freshman in 2020-21 and redshirted last season. He stepped into a much larger role in 2022-23, starting 33 of the Owls’ 35 games as the team went 28-3 during the regular season and won the Conference USA Tournament.

Boyd is fourth on the team in scoring (9.0 points per game), tied for the team lead in assists (85) and the only Florida Atlantic player shooting better than 40% (60 for 146) from 3-point range (more than 11 attempts).

Boyd’s public expression of his faith is also evident on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, which include numerous references to God. He proclaimed that “God is good!” while celebrating getting to play in March Madness in a tweet Monday.

Recent Instagram posts include a mention of the “peace that Christ gives you,” an encouragement for people to celebrate God’s blessings and a declaration that he is “God’s child.”

 

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A post shared by Nicholas Boyd (@sfnnick)

 

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A post shared by Nicholas Boyd (@sfnnick)

Awaiting Florida Atlantic in the second round is Farleigh Dickinson (Teaneck, New Jersey), which became just the second 16 seed in men’s NCAA Tournament history to beat a No. 1 seed (Purdue). Boyd said in his postgame press conference Friday he was familiar with FDU and knew some of the players on the team having grown up near the school.

“I watched FDU,” he said. “They’re physical, they trap, they run around. I feel like this road — from the conference tournament to now — it just prepared us for all these games, just playing long, athletic teams.”

The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:45 p.m. ET Sunday on TruTV.

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