Christmas came early to the Charles H. Flowers girls basketball program and the gift — sophomore forward De’Janae Boykin — keeps on giving and giving in the form of points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots.
Boykin came to Flowers after spending time at both St. John’s College (D.C.) and Riverdale Baptist last winter, but she decided to bring her talents back to Springdale when Crusaders coach Diane Richardson left for George Washington University (D.C.).
“The coach left and I just wanted to come back to the program,” Boykin said. “It’s close to home so I can walk to school and walk home.”
Her arrival has helped the Jaguars race out to a 7-1 record (through Tuesday) with the team’s lone loss coming against South Lakes (Va.) at last week’s 2012 IAABO Christmas tournament. South Lakes went on to win the tournament title.
The versatile 6-foot-2 forward, who can score all over the court and who runs the floor and dribbles like a guard, produced 20 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in that 55-47 loss to South Lakes.
Boykin followed with 24 points, seven rebounds and five steals in a 73-37 pounding of Frederick (5-1) and finished the tournament this past Friday with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocks in a 62-28 rout of Friendly (6-2).
“She’s pretty much got it going on for us,” Flowers coach Patrice Frazier-Watson said. “Just being able to play every position both defensively and offensively makes us really, really versatile and it really fits into our style of play.”
A style of play that includes turnover-causing pressure defense and an up-tempo offense that is guided by senior point guard Kyah Proctor. Proctor is one of the county’s top returning playmakers on both ends of the court.
“It’s pretty fun [playing with Boykin],” Proctor said. “We get along well together. It’s good to have someone running with me all the time and we have a good connection on the court so it works pretty well.”
In fact, quite well, as Proctor and Boykin supply Flowers with perhaps the best inside-outside combination in the county. They are averaging a combined 35.5 points per game with Proctor supplying 18 points and Boykin 17.5 points a contest.
Proctor produced 13 points and six rebounds against South Lakes; she added 18 points and five steals against Frederick; and, she had 18 points, five steals, four rebounds and three assists in the win against Friendly.
“I’m big but I run like a wing,” Boykin said. “We’re bonding and passing the ball to each other, so we’re connecting. This team can be a state championship team.”