Another Lynnwood girls basketball player is getting her chance to take her talents to the top level of women’s college basketball.
Royals standout Nakia Boston has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her hoops career with NCAA Division-I Portland State University. She’s the fourth Lynnwood girls basketball player to sign with a D-I school since 2016.
“I’m so excited and I’m so blessed to be in the situation I’m in,” Boston said. “Just because it’s been a dream ever since I started playing in first grade. I knew I wanted to play college basketball, and not a lot of people get that opportunity. I’m so thankful for where I am.”
Boston said she felt a “family environment” at Portland State.
“I love the coaching staff. They’re so nice. They’re so kind,” she said. “And I just wanted a school that felt like a home away from home. Somewhere I was comfortable. Somewhere I was gonna grow on and off the court, and Portland State was the best offer for me.”
The 5-foot-9 guard joins her older sister, Kaprice, and fellow Lynnwood products Mikayla Pivec and Jordyn Edwards as Royals who’ve recently signed D-I scholarships.
Boston said her older sister helped her “tremendously” through the process with tips from her own experiences.
“She helped me understand that the college to high school jump is huge,” Boston said. “So when you’re in high school the summer going into college, you need to prepare for it. She also told me how you’re a student-athlete, and student is before athlete for a reason. You have to take care of your in-the-classroom work before you can even step on the court.”
Boston said Portland State offered her just a few days before she announced her commitment on Twitter on April 9.
— Nakia Faith Boston (@nbostonballer) April 10, 2020
“We have kept our eye on Nakia the past couple of years and she had a breakout year during her senior season,” Portland State University women’s basketball coach Lynn Kennedy said in a press release from the school’s athletics department. “She really impressed us with her ability to score the basketball. Whether she is knocking down 3’s or attacking the basket, Nakia finds a way to score.
“She is also a tough defender. This past season she showed she has the intensity and desire to compete and defend the best players. She will bring energy and excitement to our team.”
Boston finished her career at Lynnwood with an impressive senior year. The Royals finished just 8-12 while dealing with injuries and the loss of last season’s leading scorer, Amaya Kirkman, who transferred to a school in New Mexico. But Boston was nearly unstoppable all season long as the team’s clear No. 1 option, even as she took on the role of point guard.
“She’s a kiddo where she can get her buckets whenever she needs to,” Lynnwood girls basketball coach Brandon Newby said. “It’s getting everybody else their shots and getting everything else within the system of the game plan, and she can get hers whenever she needs to. It’s always nice to have someone when the shot clock is running down, you know they can get their own shot.
“I wasn’t concerned about those things. It was, ‘was she going to get her teammates involved?’ And she did a good job of that.”
Boston said the biggest transition into her role this season was taking on the leadership that comes along with playing point guard.
“Most of the time the point guard is the coach on the court, and my team needed a lot of that this year,” Boston said.
She finished the season averaging 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and 3.5 steals per game. Her scoring output never dipped below 15 points in a single contest, and she scored 30 points or more five times.
Boston, who was named to The Herald’s All-Area first team and was a Class 3A all-state honorable mention by The Associated Press, passed the 1,000-point mark for her career with 22 points in a 39-38 loss to Snohomish on Jan. 16.
Despite all the individual accomplishments, Boston said she was most proud of the growth and resiliency her team showed this season.
“I was just excited to prepare the younger girls to come up, because being a Lynnwood player isn’t just about when you’re there,” Boston said. “It’s about the legacy they have. I saw my sister and Mikayla Pivec and Jojo (Jordyn) Edwards (play). The legacy is the most important thing and preparing the young girls and being the leader. So I was just proud of how my team did that and overcame every challenge.”