Boyle headed to Kentucky Wesleyan College

Published 1:21 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018

STANFORD — Lincoln County High School basketball player Maddy Boyle made her senior year a whole lot easier when she made her decision to play at Kentucky Wesleyan College next year.

The 5-6 point guard said the early decision was part of her plan.

“I had a goal before the summer. I want to get an offer. I want to know that that’s where I want to go. And I want to do it before Oct. 15,” Boyle said. “That’s the start of basketball season. This year we have huge expectations, huge goals that we would like to meet with this group of seniors and with this team at Lincoln. So it was my goal to get it off my mind, off my chest and know where I’m going because I’ve got to take care of business here.”

Boyle, the daughter of Jeremy and Tracie Boyle, made a public announcement of her choice of the Owensboro college last Tuesday during a signing ceremony held in the Stuart Underwood Auditorium in front of coaches, teammates, family and friends.

Boyle, who averaged 14.1 points and 2.6 rebounds for the 2017-18 Lady Patriots and who shot 84.8 percent from the foul line, admitted that Kentucky Wesleyan was not her first college choice.

“I was dead set on going to the University of Charleston, West Virginia,” she said. “Things didn’t work out right and the Lord brought Kentucky Wesleyan in. I hadn’t talked to them much so, when I went up there to a visit, I wasn’t expecting anything. They offered me right there. When they offered me, I knew that that’s the one I needed to go to.”

While the choice to attend Kentucky Wesleyan, a Division II Great Midwest Athletic Conference school, was solely Boyle’s decision, she credited the words of a friend with helping in that decision.

‘I visited other schools but I give all credit to Lexy Lake. She’s from Mercer County and she had said that when you find your two schools that you’re really in between, go visit those schools and spend the night,” Boyle said. “So I went to Campbellsville, because that was my other top school, and I spent the night. And I went to Kentucky Wesleyan and I spent the night with them – and it was home. I tell everybody it felt like home. They were family. We went out to eat – twice. They were just so family-oriented and it was all about you.”

When calling the Kentucky Wesleyan women’s basketball program “family,” Boyle isn’t far off base since Caleb and Nicole Nieman, husband and wife, serve as co-coaches of the Panthers team.

“The coaches are actually married, so it was like they were my parents and I was their kid,” Boyle said. “That’s truly how they treated each and every person – it was family.”

Lincoln County coach Cassandra McWhorter was one of the many on hand to celebrate with Boyle at her signing ceremony.

“I’m just really proud of the opportunity that she has ahead of her. It’s a special moment for her and her family. And for our program to have another girl to sign to go play college basketball,” she said. “Maddy is not just a basketball player – she’s a three-sport athlete – and I think that will help her succeed at Kentucky Wesleyan because she is so well-rounded.”

While unfamiliar with the Panthers’ basketball program, McWhorter says that will change.

“I don’t know a lot about their program – yet,” she said. “But I will in the next four years with Maddy going there.”

McWhorter says Boyle made a wise choice in picking Kentucky Wesleyan.

“When she went there to visit, she was sold. She felt at home with the girls and she followed her heart. She felt like she really fit in with the girls when she stayed there on campus and was around the team,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a good fit.”

Boyle joins a team that finished 15-12 last year and is currently 2-3. The Panthers were a NCAA Division II Midwest Region Quarterfinalist in 2011 and 2013, won the 2014 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament championship, was a 2015 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament Finalist, a 2012 Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship Finalist and 2013 Great Lakes Valley Conference East Division champions.

Kentucky Wesleyan produces successful teams. The Panthers also play to Boyle’s liking.

“Their game style is all how I play, like fast and active,” Boyle said of her future team. “They don’t recruit bigs. They recruit people like Zaria Napier, you know, tall and long and lanky and fast. I’m not tall, long or lanky but I am fast. I’m a point guard. I’m not supposed to be tall. They play fast so that’s why I picked them.”

“They have two guards that are going to be juniors when I get there. That builds me for two years and a two-year starting position. If I work hard I plan on getting the position that I want, which is obviously starting.”

Is Boyle content with the fact that she might not start right away when she joins the Panthers basketball team?

“Yes,” she said. “I chose Kentucky Wesleyan because I knew that I had a potential to really play, but I also want to be built into a player. I don’t want to go in and then fail. I want them to build me into the player that they know that I can be. I know that when I go there I’m going to get in the gym, going to lift, going to improve my shot, going to improve my game, So that when I get put in, if it’s before my junior year, they trust me and know that I can play that position because they’ve built me up.”

“It would be hard for me to just go in right at it. College is a whole ‘nother level and to see the game style that they play … watching them, you’re like ‘Wow!’ So I would just like to see how they play because here at Lincoln we play, obviously, a little bit slower, but still play fast. They play exceptionally fast.”

Boyle says she wouldn’t mind starting earlier, though.

“Obviously I want to go in there and start. It is going to be tough, but it’s going to be fun,” she said. “I’m thinking maybe sophomore year, maybe. I want to get in there, work hard, get bigger, get stronger and then go in there sophomore year and potentially start.”

Regardless of when she earns a starting position, Boyle feels she can provide a “spark” to her new team.

“I know a lot of people said at my signing, I’m like a spark. I think that that’s one thing I can bring to the team because I’m so energized and ready to go. Obviously, I want to finish up here … but I’m ready to move on and take that next step.”

“I’m full of energy and ready to be that spark. That’s what I want to bring to the team whether it’s off the bench or even a starting position.”

Boyle plans to major in either elementary or secondary education in math with a career goal of becoming a high school counselor.