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'I knew he was gonna be the guy': Freshman Donovan Davis leads the way for Freedom Irish basketball

' I knew he was gonna be the guy': Freshman Donovan Davis leads the way for Freedom Irish basketball
Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 23:23:50-05

FREEDOM (NBC 26) — When you go from school to school and you talk to successful high school basketball teams, most of the time it’s because they are senior-heavy with great senior leadership.

However, for the Freedom Irish boys basketball team, they're senior heavy, but a freshman sensation leads the way.

“I saw a couple of his games his 8th grade year and then this summer coming to open gyms, I knew he was gonna be the guy,” said forward senior Matt Eberhardt.

Donovan Davis couldn’t wait to reach high school and play for the varsity basketball team.

“I've been waiting for this moment since I was in elementary school,” the freshman said.

Admittedly unsure of his role with the team in his first game of the season, it only took a few for Davis to hit his stride.

“I'd say we were playing Little Chute and he had 24 points, I think and there was this one play, he got a lob and just threw it down and I'm like, ‘that’s Freedom basketball the next 4 years’,” Eberhardt said.

Now he’s doing things, freshmen normally don’t do.

“I would say it’s very unprecedented,” said Irish head coach Andrew Gibbons. “What he’s doing, it’s very special.”

He averages 16 points per game.

“When we need a point, we can always rely on him to get us something,” Eberhardt said. “When things aren’t going our way. we can get the ball in his hands and he can make something happen. it’s amazing.”

He averages 10 rebounds per game.

“You can always rely on him to get offensive and defensive rebounds,” said senior forward Ashton Peterson. “People just like look to him like, ‘oh yeah Donovan is down there, he’s got us.’ He generally does, so that’s big.”

He also averages four assists per game.  He leads the team in those three categories, lifting them to a 9-3 record.

“Obviously his length and athleticism will jump at you,” Gibbons said. He just does everything for us. He can shoot it. He can score it from anywhere. He's a willing passer – he leads us in rebounding. he just does everything for us.”

Being a first-year head coach, Davis's play makes Gibbons' life easy.

“He'll make me look smarter than I am pretty often, but it’s been great,” Gibbons said.

You can’t put a lid on the freshman’s potential.

“I think if he puts in the dedication and hard work like he does now for the next 4 years he’s going to be really something special,” Peterson said.

“He’s going to do some really cool things here at Freedom and then wherever he decides to go after here, he’ll be special,” said the Freedom head coach.