DURHAM — An athlete who wasn’t supposed to have the legs to walk with, much less participate in athletics, was recently inducted to the Sports Wall of Fame in her hometown of Clinton.
Whitney Boykin, who attends Baldwin Branch Missionary Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, was expected to be born with Amelia — which would have brought her into the world without legs.
“By the grace of God, destiny said otherwise,” said the Rev. Louie Boykin, who is Whitney’s father and pastor of Baldwin Branch. “Who would have thought that a child presumed to be born with the absence of legs would develop into one of the most incredible student-athletes to come out of Sampson County?”
Whitney Boykin took to sports almost immediately. And by the time she reached high school, she had already begun to show promise as a top-notch athlete.
While maintaining a 4.3 weighted GPA that would graduate her No. 13 in her class, Whitney lettered in three sports — volleyball, basketball and softball. She also was a member of the Dark Horse cheerleading squad and a member of the band.
During her high-school career, she became the youngest female student-athlete in school history to be given the Female Athlete of the Year Award during her sophomore year, then wn the award again as a senior.
Also during her senior year, Whitney was presented the Heart of a Champion award by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and the Kay Yow Award for her determination to overcome adversity.
After high school Whitney attended North carolina Central University in Durham on an academic/athletic scholarship to play softball. She suffered an injury during her freshman season, but returned as a sophomore to post the Lady Eagles’ highest stolen-base percentage and led the team in sacrifice bunts. She was also second in walks and third in runs scored. For her efforts, she was honored with the True Grit Award and the scholastic achievement award for having the highest GPA on the team.
A leg injury brought her college softball career to and end, but she continued to excel in the classroom. She went on to be inducted into the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, Phi Epsilon Kappa Fraternity, NCCU Honors Program and was noted as an NCCU Chancellor’s Scholar.
Whitney graduated from NCCU in May with a bachelor’s of science degree in athletics with cum laud honors. She is currently applying to physician’s assistant school and hopes to use her education in athletics and medicine to work in a sports orthopedic clinic.
On Sept. 21, Whitney was honored in downtown Clinton by having her name placed among the Sampson County’s best athletes on the Sports Wall of Fame.