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Dec. 11, 2003

Graduate from college in the afternoon and then fly to another city for a game three and half hours later – is that possible?

USC Head Basketball Coach Dave Odom announced today that seniors Mike Boynton, Jr. and IVAN HOWELL will attend graduation ceremonies on Monday, Dec. 15 at 3:30 pm in the Colonial Center at USC. Once they receive their degrees, they will leave and immediately fly up to Philadelphia for USC’s game against Temple at 7 pm. While neither player will start, freshman Tre Kelley will start in Boynton’s place, both are expected to play.

Boynton, a native of Brooklyn, NY, will be the first male member of his family to graduate. He is also graduating in three and half years – something Coach Odom said was ‘unheard of in college basketball’. The team captain, who has started all eight wins this seasons, expects about 25 members of his family to attend the graduation while Howell expects close to 60.

Boynton is averaging 8.8 ppg and leads the team with 4.0 apg and is second with 1.9 spg.

“The team celebrates the fact the two of them are graduating,” said Odom. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the university, especially the Provost Jerry Odom, for helping make it possible.”

“We wanted to do this – it is great that Mike Boynton is able to graduate in three years,” said Provost Jerry Odom.

“I appreciate everything the coaches, the staff, the administration and the university have done to make this possible,” said Boynton. “It’s been a trying time, trying to decide what to do. On one hand I thought ‘forget about the game – I want to be with my family’. On the other hand I know I am a senior point guard – a leader on this team. I am glad that everything has been finalized today. We don’t have a schedule yet, but I am glad that it’s been worked out.”