James Earl Boatwright
James Earl Boatwright, 61, of Hailey, Idaho, passed away February 11, 2013.
He was born December 10, 1951 to William Earl and Joyce Estes Boatwright in Twin Falls, Idaho. Jim graduated from Minico High School in 1970 where he was an all-state basketball star leading the Spartans to back-to-back state championship games in 1969 and 1970. Jim’s high school honors include being named Sunkist All-American, a Top 10 High School Player in America and participant in the prestigious Dapper Dan Classic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jim was inducted into the Idaho Basketball Hall of Fame.
He played at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and was voted as one of the Top 25 Athletes of the Century at USU. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1974.
Jim joined the European Professional Basketball League and played eight years for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel. He led Maccabi to the European Championship in 1977 over the Soviet Union team. The victory was significant and had tremendous symbolic value for the state of Israel during the height of the cold war. Boatwright became a full Israeli citizen and was selected as a member of the 1980 Israeli Olympic basketball team.
Boatwright taught and coached in several states and then married his love, Jennifer Magrane Boatwright. They returned to the Gem state 10 years ago, teaching and coaching at Hailey’s Wood River High School. He held Snowline Basketball clinics in the Challis area for many years. On the court or in the classroom, Jim’s passions were infectious to all who knew him.
He is preceded in death by his father, William Earl Boatwright; his mother Betty Joyce Boatwright; and his son, Daniel James Boatwright.
Jim is survived by his wife, Jennifer Magrane Boatwright of Hailey; his three daughters, Kate Whitlock of Farmington, Connecticut, Sarah Irish (Andy) of Marysville, Washington, and Rebecca Bechtell (Kelly) of Portland, Oregon; two brothers, Mark of Rupert, Idaho and David (Katie) of Brigham City, Utah; and a sister, Linda Govan of Kuna, Idaho. Jim has four grandchildren, Aidan and Hadley Whitlock and Ryan and Caleb Irish.
A graveside service was held February 22, 2013 at the Rupert Cemetery.
Friends and family are invited to leave condolences and share memories or stories at www.woodriverchapel.com
In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim Boatwright Scholarship Fund for students in care of the Blaine County Education Foundation, Box 253, Hailey, Idaho, 83333.