DeVince Boykins is healthy and ready to prove his talents to the Thundering Herd faithful
Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 00:12
DeVince is how you spell his name.
(Duh Vin-See) is how you say his name.
Redshirt freshman DeVince Boykins’ road to playing time at Marshall University has taken longer than he had hoped. Boykins is among many new faces on the Thundering Herd roster, but is eager to show his skill at the collegiate level.
DeVince’s hometown Forest City, N.C. is a relatively small area populated by only 7,446 people.
His journey to Huntington began during his senior year of high school. Boykins was a standout at East Rutherford High School, located in Bostic, N.C. He averaged 17 points and 13 rebounds per game in his senior season. He led his team to a 2-A state championship, while also claiming MVP honors in the title game held at the Dean E. Smith Center (home of the North Carolina Tar Heels). East Rutherford would go on to finish with a 27-1 record in Boykins’ final season.
After his senior season, Boykins was selected to the all-state first team and also was awarded conference player of the year.
Many schools other than Marshall showed much interest in Boykins’ talents, most notably Miami (FL), South Carolina and Winthrop.
Boykins said despite offers from other universities, Marshall’s coaching staff proved to be the deciding factor in his decision.
“I had other offers,” Boykins said. “I think the biggest thing was being comfortable with the coaching staff.”
Boykins said he really liked the honesty the Thundering Herd coaching staff brought to the table.
“Coach (Mark) Cline recruited me and brought me in,” Boykins said. “He was straightforward with me and I felt that I could trust him.”
Upon his arrival at Marshall, Boykins was respectively asked by the coaching staff to redshirt; forcing the combo-guard to sit out for the entire 2011-2012 season.
DeVince is a 6-foot-4 211 pound guard, who was regarded by scouts as a “high flyer” and an impressive athlete. The guard and small forward position for the Thundering Herd last year was crowded to say the least. The list included Damier Pitts, Shaq Johnson, DeAndre Kane, Dago Pena and Chris Martin. The seasoned depth Marshall contained made it tough for a young Boykins to see substantial playing time.
After an entire season of standing by and watching his fellow teammates, Boykins was eager and ready to start summer workouts.
During offseason workouts, Boykins suffered a knee injury, which sidelined him for the first seven games of the season.
He is now healthy and has competed in three games for the Thundering Herd.
Boykins said he has regained his drive and is glad to be able to bounce back after his knee injury.
“Unfortunately, the injury was a setback for me,” Boykins said. “I’ve got my confidence back after finally getting healthy. It feels good to be back.”
Boykins recorded his first points in a Thundering Herd uniform Saturday night against Coppin State. A three-pointer and three rebounds filled his stat sheet in the 69-63 Marshall victory.
Boykins said he wants to provide not only an offensive threat for the Thundering Herd, but be effective on defense as well.
“Offensively, just play my role,” Boykins said. “Take open shots and attack the rim. That’s what I’ve been known for. I want to be a vocal leader and defensive presence on the team. I feel like that’s what we’re lacking on the defensive end.”
DeVince is the son of Robert and Tonya Boykins and the eldest sibling in his family. The interesting spelling of his first name is something he shares with his brother and sister. Both of their names start with “DeV.” His brother’s name is DeVonte and his sister’s, DeVoria.
“It was my mom’s thing,” Boykins said. “All of our names start with ‘Dev’ and all of our initials are ‘DMB’. I wouldn’t mind taking that method and passing it onto my kids as well.”