Don Boven

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PD Image
A young Don Boven while a students at Western Michigan University.

Donald E. Boven (born March 6, 1925, in Kalamazoo, Michigan), known as Don Boven, is a retired American basketball player and coach. He stood 6'4" (1.93 m), weighed 210 pounds (95 kg), and played most of his career as a small forward.[1]

Personal life

Boven was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1925. He was the second of four sons born to Thomas Boven and Jessie Knapper. His parents were immigrants from the Netherlands, having come from the province of Groningen.[2] Boven attended Kalamazoo Central High School and graduated in 1943.[1] After the completion of his basketball career, Boven married Charlotte Kniese on 25 April 1953 and the couple had three children.[2] Boven now lives in Mattawan, Michigan.[3]

Basketball career

Western Michigan

After completing high school, Boven began attending Western Michigan University and playing basketball in 1946.[4] At Western Michigan, Boven set the career scoring record with 1099 points between 1946 and 1949, though this record has since been broken.[5] Boven also remains among the top ten for free throws made and free throws attempted.[5] As a junior, Boven was named a second team All-American and in 1949, the senior was named a first team All-American.[6] After completing college, Boven was selected by the Indianapolis Olympians in the 6th round of the 1949 BAA Draft.[7]

Professional career

(PD) Photo: Waterloo Hawks
Don Boven shown on the lower right cover of the Waterloo Hawks' 1949-1950 program.

Boven began his career playing for the Waterloo Hawks in 1949. The team finished fifth in the NBA Western Division with a 19-43 record.[8] Boven averaged about 10 points and two assists per game and was in the top 20 in the league making 37% of his field goals.[1][9] The following season, the Waterloo franchise left the NBA to join the original National Professional Basketball League during its only season in existence. Boven led the entire league in scoring with 781 points. He was also named a member of the league's all-star team. More than half of the league's teams folded over the course of the year and no championship game was played. Boven's Hawks and the Sheboygan Redskins made claims to being the champions, but the league was dissolved before the matter could be resolved. Waterloo finished the season with the most wins of any team behind Boven's scoring, but Sheboygan defeated the Hawks in 8 of their fifteen meetings.[10]

When the Waterloo franchise folded along with the NPBL, Boven was signed with the Milwaukee Hawks for one season. This team finished fifth in the NBA's western division[11] and Boven put up numbers similar to his first year in the NBA. One lasting distinction came during that season. Boven was tied for third most personal fouls in the NBA behind George Mikan and Vern Mikkelsen.[12] He also set a league record by fouling out of six consecutive games that season. Though this record was nearly broken in 1982[13] and skirted by Shaquille O'Neal in 2007, it still stands as of 2008.[14]

For the 1952-53 season, Boven was traded to the Fort Wayne Pistons by way of the Baltimore Bullets. Though his stats were slightly lower than his previous seasons,[1] the Pistons made it to the playoffs after finishing with a record of 36-33. Boven and the Pistons competed in the Western Division semifinals, beating the Rochester Royals two games to one. The Pistons then lost to George Mikan and the eventual NBA champion Minneapolis Lakers in the western division finals.[15] This was Boven's last season in the NBA and he finished his professional career with averages of 10.2 points, 2.0 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game.[1][10]


After retiring from professional basketball, Boven began coaching at his alma mater in the 1958-59 season. Boven's first season was not very successful and the Broncos went 2-20. In 1959-60 Boven put together the first of two winning seasons (12-11). The other came in 1961-62 when the team went 13-11. Boven coached at Western Michigan until 1966 ending his coaching career with a record of 75-112 (.401).[16] Boven remains involved in basketball, having played in reunion games with the Waterloo Hawks as late as 2004[3] and as a member of the National Basketball Retired Players Association.[17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Don Boven Statistics - Sports Reference, LLC (2000-2008). Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Boven, John Henry (1995). Boven Dutch Apple Pie: The Story of Boven Emigration to the United States.. Wyandotte, Oklahoma: The Gregath Publishing Company. ISBN 8-183-47874-0. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Iowa's NBA Team, The Des Moines Register, 2006-12-10, p. 14.
  4. Don Boven Past Stats, Playoff Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards. (2002-2006). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  5. 5.0 5.1 None Given (2006). Western Michigan Bronco's Basketball Program 2006-2007. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University. 
  6. None Given (2006). Western Michigan Bronco's Basketball Program 2006-2007. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University. 
  7. Marge. Association for Professional Basketball Research (2007). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  8. 1949-50 Waterloo Hawks Statistics - Sports Reference, LLC (2000-2008). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  9. - History - NBA 1949-50 Season. (17 December 2007). Retrieved on 2008-01-16.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Meyer, Roger; Steven Brainerd (None Given). History of the National Professional Basketball League. Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved on 2008-01-16.
  11. 1951-52 Milwaukee Hawks Statistics - Sports Reference, LLC (2000-2008). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  12. 1951-52 NBA Expanded Leaders - Sports Reference, LLC (2000-2008). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  13. Miami Heat. Miami Sun-Sentinel (26 December 2007). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  14. Bryant, Bynum lift Lakers; Blazers win 11th straight -- Chicago Tribune (December 26, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  15. 1952-53 Fort Wayne Pistons Statistics - Sports Reference, LLC (2000-2008). Retrieved on 2008-01-15.
  16. None Given (2006). Western Michigan Bronco's Basketball Program 2006-2007. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University. 
  17. Legends of Basketball - Member Listing. National Basketball Retired Players Association (2000-2008). Retrieved on 2008-01-16.

External links