Leading The Charge: Freshman Kyree Davis On Overcoming Adversity and Becoming A Leader For Roadrunner Men’s Basketball
Scouring the halls of the LBCC athletic center on any given evening could show you a host of different events or classes happening. You may find a yoga course, or a meeting of coaches furiously discussing the next gameplan. Sometimes you’ll hear an echo of a basketball dribbling and swooshes from a net from an otherwise silent gym. Frequently, the source of these sounds has been Freshman point guard Kyree Davis. Davis practices unrelentlessly, shooting free throws for hours on end. At first glance, Davis is shorter for a collegiate basketball player, listed at 5’10” on the NWAC website, but he explodes when he hits the basketball court. Davis has had to bear the weight of losing multiple players over the past few months and has shined whenever he’s called to action. While the Roadrunners only boast a record of 9-16 with four games left in the season, Davis has led his teams in close games and blowouts on either side, striving to get better each and every contest.
“(Kyree) has been asked to step up when we don’t have a lot of players,” said head coach Joe Schaumburg, “We’ve been playing close with teams like Chemeketa and he’s been willing our guys to keep up with their fast game speed. He has a great ability to control the tempo.”
Davis was born in Portland, OR, before moving to Memphis, Tennessee at a young age and then to Oakland, California. Davis has been passionate about basketball since he was just a child, getting his first basketball hoop at the age of three as a gift from his parents. Basketball was always his anchor in an area where outside influences we’re all too apparent.
“There were drugs and gang violence all around me, but basketball helped me stay in my own lane, cutting off the bad and sticking to the good.” said Davis.
Davis cites the late and great Kobe Bryant as his role model in basketball, saying he would catch almost every Lakers game because of his father having them on. Davis tries to replicate Kobe’s work ethic and leadership every single day, and says he looks towards the mamba mentality to keep him uplifted.
Davis made the move to high school in Oakland, California, playing at Fremont High School as a freshman, which was the same school his father played at for three years. His time there didn’t last long however, as he quickly began his sophomore year playing for St. Benedict at Auburndale in Cordova, Tennessee. Davis started to show off his talent by achieving all league second team honors his sophomore year, before catapulting to earn defensive player of the year his junior season, no doubt evident in his play now. Davis chose to play his senior season in Southern California, but unfortunately lost the ability to play his senior season, as his school thought he was recruited to play, which is illegal in high school sports.
“I just spent my senior season training and getting bigger,” added Davis.
Schools such as Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington had recruited Kyree, but when he wasn’t accepted he got into communication with Coach Schaumburg and decided that Linn-Benton was the next step in his basketball career. In his freshman season, Davis has averaged 17 points per game on 42% shooting, complemented by five rebounds and three assists per game. His stats on the offensive end show hustle and leadership, but his defensive stats tell a compelling story as well. Davis is fourth in the NWAC for steals, and is constantly fighting for fastbreak opportunities. He truly flows well with the game on both ends of the possession. One person that gets a perfect day to day view of the person Davis is, is freshman Kadeem Nelson. Nelson not only starts with Davis on most nights, but the two share an apartment. In only a short time, their bond has proven huge.
“His work ethic is contagious and affects the entire team,” said Nelson, “He’s always in the gym and his drive makes everyone want to get better. Off the court, he’s a great person and roommate. He’s outgoing and I wouldn’t want anyone else being my guard.”
Davis currently has no major, but keeps his grades high in hopes of getting into a four year university. His coach believes he can, and most importantly, he believes he can. His fast paced play and athleticism can lead any team against any odds, and he credits this to the place he came from
“My all around game is the dog that Oakland gave me,” said Davis, “Just being one of those kids that didn’t have much growing up gave me that hunger and motivation to work every single day.”
His high work ethic and great leadership are two mature traits for a freshman. This hasn’t been a desirable season for these young players, but Davis has been here each step of the season to provide support and confidence. All of this from a kid who couldn’t play his final year of high school is impressive and simply amazing.
“My freshman year has been nothing but a learning experience. I’ve had to develop a strong leadership role, but coach has put me in places that’ll help me in the long run,” added Davis.
With these skills along with tempo control and changing the sway of the game, Kyree Davis is electrifying each time he gets onto the court. With only four games left in the season, the Roadrunners have lost any chance of making it to the playoffs, but Davis knows that rallying his team and rounding out the season is the biggest aspect heading into next year.
“Kyree has been a leader in roles he wasn’t familiar with this season,” said Coach Schaumburg, “He’s a great worker and I could easily see him attending and playing at a D1 university.”
Davis’ upbringing made him into the person he is today, on and off the court. His fire and passion to succeed never waivered his drive, even in places where it could be changed so easily. Davis is a warrior, and his ability to battle is one that isn’t found in many. From moving around the country to dangerous distractions, Davis finds himself a collegiate basketball player nonetheless, but you’d be a fool to assume his journey stops here.
Story by Cam Hanson