Clinton’s Mikayla Boykin verbally commits to Duke

By Adam Capps Sports Editor

April 8, 2014

Mikayla Boykin isn’t the first star athlete that has been brought up in Sampson County. She is, however, the first athlete to be sought after by nearly every big-name college basketball school in the nation.

The Clinton High School freshman has been recruited by virtually every ACC school, including Notre Dame. Boykin is just a freshman and has just one season of high school basketball under her belt, yet she is already committed to Duke University to play for the perennial top 10 program.

Boykin made the verbal commitment to Duke and head coach Joanne McCallie Sunday evening.

She is currently ranked in the top 3 of the class of 2017. She has been ranked by some sources as the top player in the class. It’s an assortment of things that makes the 5-foot 11-inch combo guard such a special player. Boykin can score the ball and penetrate the lane almost at will. She averaged 25.4 points per game in her first season as a Dark Horse, while averaging 9 rebounds and 7 steals per contest. Boykin also averaged 4.6 assists per game, which displayed her ability to get her teammates the ball.

“It’s great coaching Mikayla,” said a proud Clinton Lady Dark Horse coach Chris Owens. “What I love the most is probably her personality. She cares about her teammates and wants to keep them happy and wants to make sure that everyone around her is having fun. I just love her character.”

Boykin’s parents, Tim and Nicole, said they were pleased that their daughter had made her decision and that she had made the one she wanted to make. “It is like a burden lifted off of her shoulders and our shoulders,” said Nicole Boykin of Mikayla’s Duke commitment.

“I’m just so proud of her hard work and the fact that she’ll only be about an hour and fifteen minutes away. She made a decision based on education before basketball, and I’m really proud of her for that,’ chimed in proud father Tim.

When asked why she chose Duke, Mikayla stated that one of the biggest reasons was her family. “I couldn’t get too far away from them because my family is so important to me. They keep me motivated. The fact that they can’t always do what they want to do financially keeps me motivated as well. I want to make it big so that one day they can go out and do whatever they want, because I owe that to them,” the freshman ball player asserted.

For the most part, Mikayla and her family are thankful that the recruiting process is over. It was a process that the teen said enjoyed and researched, according to her mother, and she is thankful that she has made the decision based on the right reason.

Mikayla hopes to shoot a better percentage from the field in upcoming seasons. She shot 49 percent from the floor in her freshman campaign, and says she would like to get that up to 60 percent. She also wants to rebound the ball better and average double-figure rebounds in the upcoming seasons. She also said that she feels like her ability to drive the lane and finish around the basket is the best part of her game.

The future looks bright for Clinton’s women’s basketball with Boykin having three more years of high school basketball to play. Clinton returns all but one starter next year, and expectations are already high for that team come next fall.