Basketball scorekeeper’s got ‘best seat in the house’

He’s in the middle of Division I action — he’s at Magness Arena at each DU basketball game. He’s got his eye on the ball, mind on the score. Sometimes he’ll get lip from coaches and attitude from fans.

He loves DU he says, but he can’t take sides and he can’t be that excited.

Instead for Bill Boesch — scorekeeper for DU men’sand women’s basketball — neutrality and focus is the key.

“Sometimes there will be a great play and I’ll find myself putting my fist in the air and then I’ll remember you gotta keep yourself in check,” Boesch says.

He didn’t have experience in scorekeeping, but knew the game. “I’ve always wanted to do basketball,” he says. In 2003, he found out DU needed someone to fill in on a few games that weren’t covered. By the end of the season, in February 2004, he became the primary scorekeeper.

A DU alumnus and the information technology manager at the Research Institute at DU, Boesch says he grew up with college basketball in Dayton, Ohio. He’s been keeping track of the official score, player fouls, teams fouls and timeouts for six seasons.

He’s also on the stat crew for the Colorado Mammoth professional lacrosse team and is the officer scorer for Metropolitan State College basketball.

“I’m a part of the game. I’m not just observing,” he says.

What’s the most challenging part? It’s staying focused, Boesch says, which proves even more difficult when a game is either very exciting or fairly boring. “You can’t just daydream.”

“I can honestly say that when I close the book at the end of the game, everything’s correct.”

But there have been moments of disagreement.

One incident happened at a women’s game last December. In college ball, jump balls go back and forth between teams, but if a team fouls on defense before the ball is thrown in, the switch doesn’t take place. DU had fouled, and it was the opposing team’s ball again, although people were arguing it was Denver’s ball.

“I got some fans yelling at me from the stands. They probably thought that I had forgotten to change the arrow on the previous jump ball or that the officials screwed up, but the call was correct.”

He says he did learn something from that experience: “DU fans aren’t passive. They pay attention.”

Boesch, who on average works two games a week during season, says he can’t complain. “I’ve got the best seat in the house,” he says. And a little extra pocket change — Boesch says he’s using the money he’s earned from scorekeeping to take a trip to Ireland this year.

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