Before meeting Monique Boykins, Dahnye Redd did not think she was particularly good at basketball.
Before Boykins became her coach at Penn Wood, Redd was not on an AAU team. Playing in college was not even a thought.
Before Boykins told her what she was capable of, Redd was not dedicated.
That's all changed now.
And to think that Redd didn't really like Boykins when they first met during the forward's freshman year.
Like the rest of the Penn Wood (2-3) squad, Redd affectionately calls Boykins "Coach Mo." She recalls blowing the coach off when they first met. But Boykins harped on her, seeing potential.
"She made me want to work hard. She made me see my potential," Redd said. "Nobody ever pulled my potential out of me and I never knew what I was capable of until I met her."
Boykins herself is a 2002 Penn Wood graduate. Her name sits atop a banner in the gymnasium for most rebounds in the history of the school with 1,167. She finished her high school career with 992 points and went on to play at Kutztown before returning to her alma mater in 2009 to coach.
While the first few seasons were rough, Boykins has used her passionate and energetic coaching style to spark something, in not only Redd but the rest of the team.
"I came back to coach because I felt like the kids needed a representative that has come through here and pushed so hard," Boykins said. "I want them to be able to do the same thing. The sky is not the limit, you can go past the sky."
Redd has bought into Boykins' system, and after a stellar sophomore year has only improved as a junior. She is averaging 17.6 points and 10 rebounds a game this season, as the Patriots look to repeat as Del-Val League champs and return to the District 1 Class AAAA tournament.
As practice wound down on a day that their game was canceled, Boykins asked her team to circle up. After some praise, she left them with a quote.
"Whatever you are, be a good one," Boykins said to her girls, invoking the words often attributed to Abraham Lincoln. She went on to tell the Patriots to apply that quote to their lives and role on the team.
Redd is a scorer and a captain. Boykins is her coach. They are both pretty good ones.