NEWBERRY — After guiding Newberry High School to the final four in the AA girls basketball playoffs, point guard Arnasia Boyd realized a dream Monday when she signed to play basketball for the Denmark Tech Panthers.
Boyd joins several Lady Bulldogs in the college ranks from recent seasons including Khadijah Mathis (Tri-County Tech), Kristi Hawkins (Newberry College) and Tyndell Mendenhall (Erskine).
Denmark Tech Head Coach Javon Gilliard said the school was excited to add a player of Boyd’s caliber.
“When we recruited her and watched her practice we could see that she would fit well in our system,” Gilliard said.
Denmark Tech’s winning tradition appealed to Boyd, as the Panthers have won the conference title three straight seasons. In 2014 they made the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time.
The technical school near Orangeburg was the first in its conference to ascend that high.
Boyd is projected for a starting guard position in the fall on a team that returns four players from last season. Five other recruits join Boyd in this class.
Gilliard said second-year players from this year’s class will continue their educations at Lander, Converse and the University of Hawaii among others. He cited the school’s track record with helping players graduate and pursue more education at four-year schools.
Arnasia’s mother, Shelia, said this was an exciting day for her and her daughter.
“This is what we’ve prepared her for, to be successful in college academics and athletics, and I am so excited for her,” Shelia Boyd said.
Arnasia is ready for her opportunity.
“It’s long been a dream of mine to play basketball in college and I’m thankful for the opportunity. I’ll miss NHS a lot but will always be a Bulldog,” Arnasia Boyd said.
For Boyd, future plans include studying to become a physical therapist.
“Arnasia was our first eighth-grader to come over here and play and she had so much potential,” NHS Head Coach Melissa Mendenhall said. “This morning was kind of bittersweet, really. I hate to see her go but we are so proud of her and know she’ll represent NHS well. Arnasia will be a great benefit to Denmark and transfer to a four-year school and I’m confident she’ll succeed at both levels.”