Harry J. Boykoff (July 24, 1922 – February 20, 2001) was a professional American basketball player. During his career he was often referred to as "Heshie", Big Hesh" and "Big Boy". He stood 6'10" (2.083 m) tall.[1]

Basketball career

Boykoff played college basketball for St. John's University (New York City).

He played for the Waterloo Hawks (1949–50), Boston Celtics and Tri-Cities Blackhawks (1950–51) in the National Basketball Association for a total of 109 games.

In a 1947 game at Madison Square Garden, while playing for St John's, he scored 54 points, more than the combined total of the opposing team.

While playing for the Celtics, he was the highest paid NBA player, at around $15,000 per year.

In his 1948–49 season for Waterloo, Boykoff's shooting average (41.3%) was the fourth-highest in the league.

He became so proficient at blocking shots that because of his play, the rules of the game were changed to prevent shots being blocked on their way down toward the basket (goaltending).

Boykoff led St John's to the 1943 National Invitation Tournament championship. He was awarded the MVP Award, and was named on several All-American teams. He received a gold basketball emblematic of his selection on the All-America basketball team appearing in The Sporting News, a national sports newspaper.


Even with his outstanding record, Boykoff remained humble. He was quoted as saying:

I'm not an athlete, I'm just a big guy and a lucky one.

Later in life Boykoff appeared in films and television shows such as Star Trek, Frasier, Town & Country, The Crew, on McDonald's cups and commercials, and a few others.

Boykoff died in California at age 78, a victim of lung cancer.


  1. ^ Basketball Reference website, accessed January 8, 2011; note that the IMDB page for Harry Boykoff lists his height as 6'8".