PE’s Boxley adjusts to college level

Published 12:47 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Former Prince Edward County High School volleyball star Diamond Boxley has jumped right into her college career at Virginia Commonwealth University.

After she accepted a full athletic scholarship to play volleyball for the Rams toward the beginning of 2015, she wrapped up her high school academic career early.

“It was a late development in the plan,” she said, the products of discussions with her college coach over the summer. “I really had that last semester just to finish up, and then I came to VCU.”

January 2016 was a time of big change for Boxley as she made her way to Richmond.

“When I first moved here, I definitely thought it was overwhelming,” she said. “There are a lot more people in Richmond than there are in Farmville, and so that was a little stressful. But I love my team. I love working out with them.”

The college volleyball season does not begin until August, but there are many volleyball activities already part of her life.

“We have mandatory weightlifting every morning at 7:45, and then we have practices every afternoon at 3:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and then we go to these team events sometimes, and we volunteer,” Boxley said.

Boxley tore her anterior cruciate ligament in September, but it has not kept her from preparing alongside her new team.

“I could go to the practices, but I just couldn’t do the workouts they were doing,” she said. “So, if they were jumping and hitting, I would be doing planks or crunches or lunges on the side.”

She was cleared medically at the end of April to return to regular practice.

Standing at 6 feet tall, she is set to be a middle hitter like she was in high school.

Boxley also said she loves going to classes.

“I thought the classes would be really hard, but actually it’s just a nice adjustment coming from Governor’s School going right to college,” she said. “So, it wasn’t too bad.”

Because of her coursework already completed, Boxley is academically a sophomore at VCU, though she will still have four years of eligibility as a volleyball player.

Overall, Boxley is embracing this new chapter of her life.

“It’s really, really exciting,” she said. “I was really nervous when I first moved in, but after you get into a routine, it’s so exciting to think that you graduated (from) high school, you made that milestone and now you’re just setting out to do something else in life and help out your community.”

She is majoring in biomedical engineering and her time rehabilitating from her ACL tear helped her come up with an idea of how to use that degree. As she worked with a therapist during rehab, she realized she would bounce back from the injury.

“It really made me think about the people who can’t come right back,” she said, like someone who has had their leg amputated.

“So, I think I want to make prosthetics and help others use them with my biomedical engineering degree.”