Boyce owning boards at UVA-Wise
Deon Boyce did some amazing things for the Davidson County Community College basketball program. What he is currently doing at the University of Virginia at Wise is mindblowing.
In his first week playing in a Cavalier jersey, the Jacksonville, N.C. native was named the NAIA Mid-South Conference Player of the Week. His recognition is due to a relentless work ethic on the glass. Through three games, he is averaging nearly 24 rebounds a contest. He recorded 24 rebounds in each of his first two games, and backed that up with 23 more as UVA-Wise knocked off top-ranked Cumberlands 69-54. His 24-rebound efforts are the most in a single game in the Mid-South and second highest in the NAIA this year.
“It is all about hard work and showing how much heart I have,” Boyce said of being tabbed player of the week. “It shows how much my coaches push me and how badly I want to win.”
The Cavs are 3-0 since Boyce joined the team after the Christmas break, averaging 13.3 points to go with his ridiculous rebounding average. The former Storm standout could not be happier about helping the Cavs on their recent run. He especially enjoyed defeating the top team in the nation at the NAIA level.
“That was awesome,” he said. “I knew we could do it. It showed we can be a top team in the country. From my experience at Davidson, teams always wanted to knock us off when we were No. 1 in the country. I got to experience what it was like to knock the No. 1 team off.”
Though Boyce enjoys scoring the basketball and does it quite well, rebounding is what he strives to do best. When asked if he would rather have more points or rebounds, the 6-6 junior emphatically offered an answer.
“Rebounds! If I score 30 points but only have three rebounds and we lose, obviously we did not win on the rebound side. I would rather have the rebounding.”
DCCC head coach Matt Ridge enjoyed Boyce’s services the last two years, and even after watching him tear up the boards in practices and games, Ridge is in awe of the immediate success the young man has experienced.
“It is amazing,” remarked Ridge. “I knew he would be successful but I had no idea it would be to this magnitude. He is such a competitor, is relentless and never quits on a play. Because of those things he is a lot of fun to coach. I knew UVA-Wise was getting a big-time steal and now he is showing everyone in that league just how good he really is.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.