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Govs in Love: Terry and Nakelia Boykin

College is more than just a place where you get an education – it’s also where young people find their passions, where they try new and exciting things and sometimes, it can even be where a small town girl and a big city boy bond over a missed free throw.

APSU’s Office of Alumni Relations is honored to recognize one special Govs couple: Terry and Nakelia Boykin, winners of the 2016 APSU Alumni Govs in Love contest.

College is more than just a place where you get an education – it’s also where young people find their passions, where they try new and exciting things and sometimes, it can even be where a small town girl and a big city boy bond over a missed free throw.

APSU’s Office of Alumni Relations is honored to recognize one special Govs couple: Terry and Nakelia Boykin, winners of the 2016 APSU Alumni Govs in Love contest.

In the fall of 1993, Nakelia Davis was eating with friends Yolanda Pritchard and Debbie Warren when she noticed the definition of a “Big Man on Campus” in Austin Peay basketball point guard Terry Boykin. An all-city and all-state high school player from Detroit, Mich., Boykin’s success followed him to Austin Peay, where he was a two-time captain under head coach Dave Loos.

With Boykin focused on an ice cream cone and little else while he crossed the cafeteria, Davis’s friends took it upon themselves to do what friends do best: embarrass her by grabbing the star athlete’s attention.

“I asked my friends who (Boykin) was, and much to my surprise and embarrassment, they called him over,” Nakelia said. “That was the first conversation I had with him, and in the weeks and months after that, we seemed to run into each other on campus quite a bit.”

While Austin Peay is admittedly an intimate campus, it might not have been a coincidence that the two kept crossing paths; first, in the cafeteria, then on the sidewalks on the way to class and even at a mutual friend’s apartment in Meacham Apartments.

Like many students, Davis cheered on Boykin and the Governors basketball team -- although Davis said she recalls one particular night that could have nipped a blossoming relationship in the bud.

“One night, Austin Peay was playing Murray State, the Dunn Center was packed and Terry was shooting free throws when he looked into the crowd,” Nakelia said. “Of all the fans, his eyes locked upon mine and he missed his free throws.

“He still blames me for missing those shots,” Nakelia joked.

Minor execution hiccups aside, that night brought the two together, and they quickly became inseparable. Despite their radically different backgrounds: Boykin from Detroit, Mich.; Davis from tiny Newbern, Tenn, the couple found that opposites really do attract.

“We started talking pretty much every day and hanging out together,” Nakelia said. “We talked about his big city upbringing and my small-town upbringing, and that grew into a host of other, deeper conversations.”

Before either knew what had happened, they found themselves living on Castle Heights, parenting their first of five children, Terrell, in a little house just feet from where they first met at Killebrew and Cross Hall.

Later this year, Davis, now Nakelia Boykin, and Boykin will celebrate nearly 20 years of marriage. Nakelia Boykin is a reading and language arts teacher at Kenwood Middle School, while Terry runs the Playmaker Basketball Academy and teaches area youth the fundamentals of basketball.

“We couldn’t be happier with the life we are living,” Nakelia said. “We’re trying to raise our children right and continuing to be a blessing to others.

“This Govs Love Story has many more chapters to go!”