Scholar Spotlight: Stephen Boateng

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (March 15, 2024) – Many paths can lead individuals to caddieing. One that seems less obvious is pacing the sidelines of a basketball court, but that is how MGA Caddie Scholar Stephen Boateng found his way to the caddie yard at Scarsdale Golf Club.

During high school, Stephen coached his brother’s AAU basketball team when one of his players’ parents suggested he work as a caddie to make some extra money. He took that advice and has worked at Scarsdale for five years. Stephen, now a senior at St. John’s University, is a student manager for the St. John’s men’s basketball team, caddies during the summer, and mixes in some time working in the bag room for Caddie Manager Mark Cestone at Scarsdale.

Stephen is an essential member of the Red Storm program and draws on the lessons he’s learned from caddieing to help him succeed in this role. One of the most significant areas that caddieing helped him with was building and managing relationships. His experience with meeting new golfers at the start of a round and figuring out how to interact with them has allowed Stephen to be more personable with the different members of the program, including coaches, players, administrators, and administrators.

“I think [caddieing has impacted] a big part of life in general, like cultivating relationships and maintaining them,” noted Stephen. “How I was able to distinguish whether a [member] wanted to talk, or wanted to just be in the zone and golf, or whether they wanted to have some fun, or just wanted to get away [from the outside world]. So, I translated that into how I treat the players and the coaching staff.  I think it helped me with that a lot.”

From the golf course to the basketball court, Stephen continues to meet and work with people in a variety of roles. “What I like most about my job is the opportunity to interact with and help everybody, from the coaching staff to the players.”

He also added how much he feels appreciated by the coaches when he goes above and beyond to help the staff, coaches, and players.

“I just love being able to impact the program. That’s what I try to help with, whether that’s helping work out some guys, rebound, or do any tasks.”

Coaching is what Stephen has wanted to do for a long time. He knew being a student manager was where he needed to start when he got to college to begin gaining experience. Stephen got a first-hand look at what being a manager entailed when he attended Iona University practices when his brother, Spencer, was a walk-on and a student manager for the Gaels when Stephen was younger.

Stephen began his college career at Manhattanville College and transferred to Iona after Rick Pitino became head coach of the Gaels in 2020. “I thought, if I want to work in basketball, this is a no-brainer. I emailed a member of the coaching staff. He got back to me and said, ‘Come to a practice, and we’ll see how you do.’ The rest was history.”

When Pitino became the head of St. John’s before the 2023-2024 season, Stephen had to decide whether to follow him to Queens or stay at Iona. Stephen was on track to graduate from Iona in the fall, so transferring would set him back at a new school. However, St. John’s was able to take more of his credits, and he was able to transfer to continue working with Pitino. He will graduate from St. John’s in the spring.

When asked what he has learned from working under a hall-of-fame coach in Pitino, Stephen said manifesting your success. “If you put in the atmosphere that you work harder than everybody around you, and you put in the atmosphere that you’re a winner, you’re going to be successful. You can force yourself to be successful with your choices.”

St. John’s finished the regular season at 19-12. The Red Storm’s next game is on Friday against the University of Connecticut in the Semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

After the basketball season wraps up this spring, Stephen will shift his focus to golf and return to Scarsdale this summer while transitioning into his career.