The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Goodie boys reunite at EIU

Junior+guard%2Fforward+Kyndall+Davis+%2810%29+and+senior+guard+Tiger+Booker+%2811%29+share+a+court+together+four+years+later+after+their+time+at+Bogan+High+School.
Immanuel Johnson
Junior guard/forward Kyndall Davis (10) and senior guard Tiger Booker (11) share a court together four years later after their time at Bogan High School.

Junior guard/forward Kyndall Davis and senior guard Tiger Booker have known each other for six years, going to Bogan High School together. 

Although Booker is a year older than Davis, the two weren’t very close early on. 

“We were always cool, but we didn’t really get close until I was out of high school,” Booker said. 

When COVID-19 spread and put most of the U.S. on lockdown, Davis and Booker grew closer off the court during the summer of 2020. 

“When COVID-19 hit and everyone was in the house, we didn’t have anything to do,” Davis said. “One day, we just had the courage to go outside. We started doing everything together: going to SkyZone, going out to eat, hanging out with friends. We’d just always be together.” 

Even though Davis and Booker kept in touch throughout their times at different colleges, they have talked about possibly playing with each other sometime in the future. 

“We’ve been talking about going to school together way before this,” Booker said. “We wanted to play in college together. At the time, [Kyndall] was in junior college last year, so he had to leave to attend a four-year school, and I put my name in the transfer portal after Tarleton [State University].” 

Senior guard Tiger Booker played at four different universities before transferring to Eastern. (File)

Davis was the first out of the two to commit to Eastern, but Davis was not slow to suggest to Eastern’s coaching staff that they should give Booker a chance. 

“I knew [Booker] was looking for a new school, and he’s one of my best friends,” Davis said. “We talk about every other day. I knew he was looking for a school, and he had told me that he wanted to come closer to home. I knew that we needed a point guard, so I tried my best to convince Marty [Simmons] to give him a chance, and he did.” 

Before playing for Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas, Booker played for three other collegiate teams: LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, Tennessee), Odessa College (Odessa, Texas) and New Mexico Junior College (Hobbs, New Mexico). 

Davis added that it wasn’t super hard to convince the coaching staff to recruit Booker. 

“It wasn’t really that hard because Tiger is really well known around Chicago,” Davis said. “Coach Marlon London knew about Tiger, and I told him that he was looking for a school, and I guess they went from there.” 

In the 2018-2019 season, Booker averaged 14.9 points, 4.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game as a senior in high school. 

Coached by the late Arthur Goodwin, Booker and Davis were starters for the 2018-2019 season when Bogan High School made it to the Illinois High School Association 3A State Championship. 

Booker and Davis credited Goodwin, who they called “Goodie,” to their success in high school as well as for creating an environment both players wanted to be part of. 

“We had a good relationship with our coach,” Davis said. “Off the court, I’d say he’s a goofy, funny person. He’d always talk to us about stuff other than basketball, and we just had a good relationship with him. On the court, we knew there was a certain standard that he held us to, and we were expecting that. He was a ‘stand on business’ guy.” 

Junior guard/forward Kyndall Davis said pitching the idea of adding Booker to the team wasn’t very hard. (File)

“He was the coolest person off the court,” Booker said. “I guess that’s what made us respect him as a coach because we knew the relationship off the court. There was nothing that he would’ve told us that we wouldn’t have done for him, and we knew it was the same thing the other way around.” 

Booker and Davis travelled together and went through several wins together throughout their 31-4 season at Bogan High School during the 2018-2019 season. Four years later, they get to share the court with each other again. 

The basketball court isn’t the only thing Booker and Davis share; the two teammates are roommates, and they enjoy living together. 

“People ask if we ever argue, but we never argue,” Booker said. “It’s funny. There’s nothing to argue about.” 

“We get along too well to argue,” Davis said. “It’s a good experience. [Tiger is] like my brother. We almost think the same, so when one person sees something, then we both see it and we’re on the same page.” 

Both Booker and Davis have been playing well for the Panthers. 

As of Jan. 28, 2024, Booker averages 14.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Davis currently averages 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. 

  

Zaria Flippin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]. 

 

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About the Contributors
Zaria Flippin
Zaria Flippin, Sports Editor
Zaria Flippin is a junior sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.
Immanuel Johnson
Immanuel Johnson, Photographer
Immanuel Johnson is a senior digital media technology major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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