Boise State freshman student manager MicGuire Monson poses Thursday inside ExtraMile Arena. Monson is the grandson of former Oregon coach Don Monson, who gave current Boise State coach Leon Rice his start in coaching 31 years ago. 

Saturday's road game at No. 15 Oregon will be a little bit more special for one member of Boise State's traveling party.

A cool side story to Boise State's battle with the Ducks will be the return to Eugene for freshman student manager MicGuire Monson, the grandson of former Oregon coach Don Monson.

Don Monson gave Boise State coach Leon Rice his start into coaching when he hired him as a graduate assistant at Oregon in 1988, so Rice returned the favor by inviting his grandson MicGuire to join the the program as a manager.

A freshman manager typically wouldn’t travel to the first road game like this, but Rice informed MicGuire this week he would be joining them on the trip.

“It’s really unbelievable to be honest with you,” MicGuire Monson said. “I was actually planning on driving and checking it out on my own and hopefully snagging a ticket somehow, so it means a lot. It’s where it all started, where this whole situation I’m in started.”

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MicGuire said Rice has “basically been like an uncle to me” growing up because Rice and MicGuire’s dad Dan have been close friends for a number of years. He referred to Rice's son Max, a freshman guard on the Broncos, as a 'cousin'. 

His dad Dan is the current coach at Long Beach State.

“It’s really a neat story,” Rice said. “Don Monson gave me my shot at getting into college basketball and if it wasn’t for Don I would have never gotten in maybe. So he gave me my start and flash forward 31 years later and now his grandson is on my staff here as our student manager. He wants to coach, so to be able to pay it forward like that has been neat and it meant a lot to Don.

“Now I get to take MicGuire back to Oregon where his grandpa was a coach for nine years and had some great teams and great memories and it was where I got my start.”

Boise State's game at Oregon is slated to start at 9 p.m. MT and air on the Pac-12 Network.

B.J Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013. He is an Associated Press Top 25 men's basketball poll voter, and also contributes to KBOI-TV as a Boise State insider.

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