by Cliff Mehrtens

HUNTERSVILLE – Shareé Boyd picked Wingate University for many reasons, but mostly it was about the speed.

“Very quick, they’re real fast,” Boyd said. “They like to run up and down the court.”

Next fall, Boyd, the leading basketball scorer in Hopewell High history, will join them. She signed a National Letter of Intent to become a Bulldog during a signing ceremony in Hopewell’s media center on April 27.

Boyd, a 6-foot guard, was the Lake Norman Publication’s 2011-12 Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

She led Hopewell in every major statistical category, averaging 15.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. Boyd established school career records for points (1,225), rebounds (618), blocks (153), games played (109) and victories (83).

Boyd said she considered several offers and the other finalist was Winston-Salem State University. Gary Richmond, Hopewell’s coach and Boyd’s stepfather, offered sound advice when Boyd said she’d picked her college: “Sleep on it. Pray on it. Let me know the next day.”

“I liked the atmosphere at Wingate,” Boyd said. “And it’s close to home. I just love the team.”

Wingate is an NCAA Division II school about 30 miles southeast of Charlotte and plays in the South Atlantic Conference. Last year, Wingate was 24-8 and advanced to the Sweet 16.

“She knows several of the girls who play at Wingate, so that helped,” Richmond said. “She’s known their best player, Nikki Burton, since Nikki played for me at Vance (High). Shareé was a little girl sitting on the end of the bench as Nikki’s personal water-girl. Now she has an opportunity to play with Nikki.”

Richmond and Boyd agreed she’d have to get stronger to make the transition to college basketball.

Boyd was the I-MECK 4A conference player of the year, and was named to the All-District 9 team. She was all-conference four times and part of three consecutive conference championship teams.

“Any time you jump up a level, you have to get used to the speed of the game,” Richmond said. “Shareé had workouts at three schools against college players, and those girls are sturdy, they’re quick and they’re experienced.”