WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - UNCW honored former Seahawk women’s basketball player Sheila Boles by retiring her No. 25, Sunday.
The ceremony at Trask Coliseum took place during halftime of the women’s game against William & Mary.
Boles played on the school’s first women’s basketball team in 1973 and became the universities first recipient of a women’s basketball scholarship in 1974. A trailblazer of Women’s basketball at UNCW, she considers herself lucky to have been able to lace up and throw a jersey on.
“I got to benefit from Title Nine but all those women before that that kept fighting and kept fighting and kept fighting until something got done," said Boles. "They’re the real heroes.”
A native of Fayetteville, she was a three-time MVP in women’s basketball and was named the NAIA District 28 Player of the year in 1976. If you ask, she’ll tell you she was born with the love for sports, but it was her parents’ words that always kept her motivated.
After graduation from UNCW she coached boys’ basketball team at Hoggard High School for eleven seasons, and then served as the school’s athletic director from 1999-2008.
Over her career she’s earned many honors. She was named the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year in 2008 and was inducted into the NCHSAA Hall of Fame and Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
She said part of her success, just comes from the motivation of her parents. To her, that means being a good person and always putting your best foot forward.
“Just do the things you can control," said Boles. "There are so many things you cannot control, but you can come to practice early, you can leave late, you can be in the best possible shape you can be in. Nobody has to make you do that.”