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By Becky Kimbrell-Norris
ANDERSON, S.C. — Former Wake Forest-Rolesville basketball player Katie Davis lived the dream of any college athlete this season.
Davis got to experience basketball at its highest level when she and her Anderson University team, champions of the South Atlantic Conference, played in the NCAA Women’s Division II basketball tournament.
Though the Trojans lost in the first round 84-78 to Pfeiffer, the 6-foot-2-inches freshman center/forward did get a taste of the March Madness and it was still a memorable experience for Davis.
“Making it to the NCAA tournament was something that I will never forget,” Davis said. “Though we fell short the first round, it was something that I learned a lot from.”
Davis said the NCAA game reminded her to play every game like it was her last.
“It was also a neat reminder to me how God had a plan for me and my team this entire time,” Davis said.
Anderson University finished the season with a 23-9 record and defeated Tusculum College 55-52 to claim the SAC title.
“I can’t put in words how much joy I experienced when the final buzzer sounded,” Davis said. “I personally have never won a championship before, so it was awesome to be a part of what we did. It was our team goal to win the regular season, and after we accomplished that goal, winning the tournament was absolutely incredible.”
“I think the best part for me was seeing the look on our seniors’ faces and knowing that they accomplished what had been their goal for so long just made the victory that much sweeter,” Davis added.
The 2012-13 season was a learning experience to Davis, who saw action in all 32 games and averaged close to 11 minutes of playing time.
“Overall my first year was fantastic,” she said. “Basketball was definitely not easy by any stretch and was very stressful at times, but it gave me countless opportunities to trust God.”
“It was a privilege to be able to contribute to the team with those minutes that the coaches entrusted in me and I’ve gained invaluable experience from them,” Davis added.
Anderson assistant basketball coach Michael Whitling said he expects Davis to build on her leadership role.
“She has shown to be a leader and we also expect her to step up and be the go-to post player this season,” Whitling said.
Davis also learned how to balance the demanding academics of college with her athletic commitments by making the dean’s list during both semesters and finishing the year with a 4.0 GPA.
“The college workload was something that I definitely wasn’t used to,” she said. “I had to teach myself how to study, and thankfully, I found a method that worked well for me.”
“I learned how to balance academics while playing ball at the same time,” Davis added. “It took many hours in the school library, but hard work paid off in the classroom as well as on the court.”
“Katie is a very hard worker both in the classroom as well as on the basketball court,” Whitling said. “She came in her freshman year and had fantastic success in the classroom, bringing a great attitude and a lot of energy every day.”
Davis entered Anderson University as a 2012 Trentini Scholarship finalist, was voted Outstanding Senior and was an AP Scholar.
On the court, she battled back from an ACL tear in her junior year to make first team Cap 8 All-Conference after leading the league in blocks with 100, averaging four a game. She also scored close to 10 points and pulled down at least six rebounds each game during her senior year.
“As I look back over the last few years, it is a reminder how God had a plan for me and my team,” she said, “including my ACL injury and rehab.”
This past year was everything Davis imagined it would be and more.
“I absolutely cannot wait to get back to Anderson University,” Davis said.
“My team is amazing and we’re not just teammates on the court, but we’re friends off the court,” she said. “It was incredible to watch and learn from some of the best athletes in our conference and I hope to take what I have learned from them and apply it to my next three years as a college athlete.”
In addition her job at Jumping Beans this summer, Davis is spending time in the gym weight training and conditioning in preparation for next season.
Davis is majoring in kinesiology with a minor in business.
“I may change my business minor into a major, but I haven’t decided yet,” she said. “I plan on pursuing a career in the medical field, possibly physical therapy because I would love to help others overcome setbacks of their own.”
Davis is the daughter of Lou and Cindy Davis.