Opinion: Boyce was worth the price of admission
Say the name Deon Boyce around an avid supporter of Davidson County Community College basketball, a smile is likely the response one would get. It may even be followed by a “I wish we had him one more year” remark.
That is probably what fans of the University of Virginia at Wise are going to be saying next season.
The 6-6 power forward recently completed his college career for the Cavaliers, leaving his mark on that program as he did in a Storm uniform as a freshman and sophomore. He averaged 17.8 points his senior season, snatching 14.8 rebounds per outing. You read that right. Nearly 15 rebounds a game the young man pulled down. He finished one rebound shy of 400 for the year to set a new single-season record at the school.
His numbers have been impressive all four years of his college career, but what makes his accomplishments really stand out is the way he plays the game. Never in my two years of covering Boyce at DCCC did I see him take a play off. He gives his best on every possession, offensive or defensive. And unlike most players, he was more concerned with his rebounding total, rather than how many times he put the ball in the basket.
Five years ago I attended a holiday tournament at Northern Guilford High School. With a two-hour break in between the games I was covering, I decided to watch one of the other games. In walked Davidson head coach Matt Ridge along with then assistant Brandon Mullis. They were there to see Boyce. After one quarter of game action, it was clear as to why they were there to watch Boyce. He was the first one to loose balls, crashed the boards like his life depended on it, and gave his guards an easy entry pass by positioning himself perfectly on the low block. He had it all.
His career for the Storm was only a stepping stone for the future. Making a name for himself at the NCAA Division II level, Boyce could potentially play professionally overseas. Though undersized for his position, his heart and will to compete makes up the difference. If given a chance, I'm sure he will continue to please fans.
There are not many who come along with the kind of intensity that Boyce brings to the table. I am glad to have known him.
Thanks for the smiles, Deon!