Oaks Christian basketball player Sydney Boyer acing every challenge

WESTLAKE VILLAGE >> Cue the “Jeopardy!” music.This Oaks Christian High School girls basketball player has more than 1,000 points and 800 rebounds in her high school career and also competes on her school’s Knowledge Bowl team.Who...

Oaks Christian basketball player Sydney Boyer acing every challenge

WESTLAKE VILLAGE >> Cue the “Jeopardy!” music.

This Oaks Christian High School girls basketball player has more than 1,000 points and 800 rebounds in her high school career and also competes on her school’s Knowledge Bowl team.

Who is Sydney Boyer?

The Princeton-bound Boyer is a self-described “Jeopardy!” buff whose high IQ elevates her game on and off the court.

“It’s definitely one of my hobbies,” Boyer said.

Boyer is in the midst of her own Double “Jeopardy!” round.

Not only has Boyer powered Oaks Christian into the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs that begin Thursday against visiting Santa Barbara, she is training for her first Knowledge Bowl competition in March.

Once a week, Boyer attends a Knowledge Club meeting at lunch, learning fun facts and developing her quick-thinking skills, much as she did growing up watching “Jeopardy!” with her mother, Holly.

GALLERY: Images from Sydney Boyer’s photo shoot

“They have a buzzer and everything. Just like “Jeopardy!,” Boyer said. “I was kind of inspired to join because my mom and I would watch “Jeopardy!” together after my practices. Sometimes we’d yell out the answers, sometimes we’d compete against each other.

“We actually watched a lot of game shows and played a lot of board games in my family. We’re all pretty competitive.”

So does Boyer have any trade tips about “Jeopardy!”?

“You just have to know it,” Boyer said.

So Boyer has control of the board.

Student-athletes for $500, Alex.

This Oaks Christian basketball player maintains a grade-point average of 4.54 and scored a 30 on the ACT.

Who is Sydney Boyer once again?

“I didn’t even study for the ACT,” Boyer said, laughing sheepishly. “I kind of remembered about the test about seven days before, got the book and kind of skimmed it, but I didn’t go to any classes or get a tutor for it.”

Boyer chose Princeton over Arizona, Davidson and Yale as her college destination. Oaks Christian coach Kristy Hopkins said Boyer is a special talent on and off the court.

“She’s very thoughtful in what she says,” Hopkins said. “She’s a good thinker, she’s mature and she can carry on a pretty good conversation with social things and political things. She expresses herself in a very mature way.”

Boyer’s body of work in basketball quickly became evident.

Boyer averages 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds this season, able to control the paint with her 6-foot-1 frame but also has the ability to stretch defenses with her agility and nice perimeter touch shooting 34.6 percent from 3-pointers.

Talk about a Daily Double.

“She’s nice because she can do a lot of different things,” Hopkins said. “She can defend well and has really improved on her defense. I put her in the front of our press, and she’s quick and mobile enough to do that and has those long arms that makes it difficult pass.

“Offensively she’s improved inside quite a bit. Last year she also had trouble getting her jump shot off. That’s what she needed to improve upon, and she really did.”

Boyer tried her hand at a lot of different sports, most notably softball like her mother did growing up in Pittsburgh. Boyer also tried soccer, volleyball and track and field.

“I tried softball in third grade. I think I was more into the sunflower seeds and the signing than I was into playing,” Boyer said, laughing.

Boyer felt a fit in basketball, becoming a four-year player for Oaks Christian while taking her game up a notch this past year on Team Taurasi.

Boyer was part of Oaks Christian’s semifinal run in her freshman campaign that ended with a crushing overtime loss at Bishop Montgomery. As a sophomore and junior, Boyer helped Oaks Christian make the elite Open Division.

This year, Boyer had to adjust to life without Katie Campbell (Ventura College) and Roxy Barahman (Yale).

Not only did Boyer embrace a leadership role, she changed her offensive mentality.

“I definitely had to encourage a lot more than in the past and teach others more about the game,” Boyer said. “At the beginning, we were young and inexperienced, but we’re good now.

“I know I had to become more offensive-minded. I kept my defense and rebounding level, but scoring became a higher priority for me.”

Now that Boyer is entering the Final “Jeopardy!” phase of her career, she said she has had a chance to put her career in perspective.

And she is going all in, not wanting to settle for the parting gifts.

“We never won CIF or state and we never got a ring, but we’ve come super close. And we were in the Open Division, competing against the best of the best,” Boyer said. “I’ve definitely grown in my time at Oaks. Offensively, defensively and as a person.

“These are going to be my last few games. I’m hopeful for the playoffs. I think we can win the first one, then from there, it’s all heart.”

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