PHOTO: Hunter White/TSSN The Valley
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.–Seasoned women’s head coach for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Jim Foster had but three prominent words to describe freshman guard Lakelyn Bouldin.
“Intelligent, observant, and intuitive!”
And even though she is a freshman Coach Foster says Bouldin will be included in their rotation this year because of her strong knowledge of the game and prompt awareness when playing.
Bouldin, who is from the small town of Spencer, Tennessee, was overwhelmed but not discouraged by the transition from high school to college. She has been training since she was four years old and continues to strive to be the best, all to make them and her younger sister proud.
Bouldin choose UTC, over many options, because they have a very strong women’s basketball program and she feels that she fits in with the team and coaches. When she visited the campus, she fell in love with the overall atmosphere of the school.
“It felt like being home again,” Bouldin said. “And I was nervous going into my first practice, being the only freshman coming in [in this recruiting class], but once I hit the floor, all the nerves went away. I’m just going to keep trying to do what I have been doing and stay aggressive.”
Coming from being a very dominate player in high school, Bouldin explains how the level of competition within the team is most exciting for her. Bouldin admits that, at first, the intense practices and busy schedules were tough, but now it has become second nature to her. She hopes to contribute all that she can in the point guard position.
Bouldin explains that she has a solid relationship with her teammates, and that they all understand each other because they face the same struggles with balancing practice, community service, workouts, class, and social lives while in college.
After college, even though it is too far away to know for sure, Bouldin wants to become a coach for her Alma Mater, Van Buren County High School. She will graduate by the time her little sister, who also plays basketball, is a freshman in high school and hopes to coach her throughout her high school years to ensure she follows in her big sister’s footsteps.
Bouldin wants all the younger children from Spencer, Tennessee to know that they should never give up and know that achieving their dream is possible. She admits that, being from the small town, it is discouraging to dream big because not many people take notice of their town. Nevertheless, she hopes to make a name for Spencer, Tennessee on the court in her upcoming years as a Lady Moc.
“I don’t like to be out done,” Bouldin said. “I’m going to always seek a challenge every game and every practice. If you’re going to challenge me, I’m going to challenge you that much more. I think that’s what has pushed me to be the player I am today. I always go in with the mindset that you are not going to challenge me or out do me.”
Bouldin knows everyone in her hometown is rooting for her and hopes to put on a show for them this upcoming season. And though she doesn’t sport the maroon and gold of Spencer’s most coveted sport, she knows that her success is also the success of Van Buren County.