Dating back to their days at Powdersville Middle School, and then on to Wren, where they graduated in 2008, and now at North Greenville University, Jonathan Bozymowski and Tim Franklin would be hard pressed to remember a time when one took the court without the other.
“I look at him as a brother,” Franklin said of Bozymowski, who he often refers to as “Boz”. “It feels good to actually go to college and play with somebody that has been on your team for so many years. It’s been fun.”
Bozymowski, a 6-6 power forward, and Franklin a 5-9 point guard may seem like polar opposites, but their former coach would argue that they are actually quite similar.
“They’re just both great people and I can’t say enough about them,” said Wren Head Coach Fran Campbell. “They contrast, but they play so well together and they complement each other so well that it’s just been something that has worked.”
After his senior year at Wren, in which he averaged over 10 points and four assists per game, Franklin was quick to commit to North Greenville. This provided Bozymowski with an enticing opportunity.
“I knew that he had committed, and I wanted to come and play with him,” said Bozymowski. “He’s just a great point guard.”
Since then, both have managed to secure steady starting roles as Crusaders, and the success was no surprise to Campbell.
“I thought that when Jonathan chose North Greenville, Chad Lister (North Greenville head coach) was getting a steal, and I thought the same thing with Tim,” said Campbell. “I thought they both were capable of playing low Division I basketball.”
Franklin says the duo’s success can be attributed to their years of experience together.
“That (success) just comes from years of playing together,” said Franklin. “His game is totally different from mine, but I know what he is capable of doing. He’s a great guy to play with.”
Despite the difference in size, both players have been known to play a little point guard. Bozymowski, who Campbell referred to as his “second best ball handler at Wren,” says he was able to fill a void when Franklin sat out his freshman year at NGU with a redshirt.
“It was funny because coach (Lister) actually put me in the point guard spot for a couple of games my first year when Tim wasn’t playing, so I was able to fill a little bit of his position,” said Bozymowski. “Tim kills me in every aspect, though. He leads the team in assists. He’s a great penetrator. He does everything for us.”
More than just success on the basketball court, this relationship has turned into something both say they can be proud of.
“It’s been a great opportunity to be with each other for ten years playing basketball together,” said Bozymowski. “We have great chemistry together on and off the court. He’s a great friend to have and a great teammate to have on the floor.”
Forgetting their roots has never been an option for these two. When basketball is not requiring their time, the duo can probably be found near their old high school helping out or playing pick-up.
“It’s a great relationship,” Franklin said of his Wren. “It’s something fun to look at and know that we used to be in that same spotlight. The coaches are always there to support us even if we’re down.”
Although their time on the court is limited, Franklin says this is a relationship that will not stop after the final buzzer sounds.
“From Boz, I’ve gained everything; Friendship, a brother. I look at him as family,” said Franklin. “If I need anything or he needs anything we know we can call on one another to help.”