Voices Of The Future -- Mo'ne Davis Isn't Resting On Her Little League Stardom
Mo'ne Davis rose to fame playing baseball last summer, but when asked who she would most like to spend a training day with, her answer was quick: reigning NBA champion Steph Curry.
Davis' favorite sport is basketball, and the 14-year-old point guard could certainly benefit from some of Curry's ballhandling and shooting techniques. Though, when they met before a Warriors game earlier this year, Curry was the one asking Davis for an autograph.
Davis' ascension to stardom unfolded a little over a year ago when she pitched a shutout that punched her Philadelphia baseball team's ticket to the Little League World Series. She then took the mound in Williamsport and threw another shutout for good measure, in the process becoming the first girl to win a game at the LLWS.
As the nation became enthralled by her story, Davis was thrust into the spotlight and onto newspaper and magazine covers.
"Usually girls don't dominate in a lot of male sports, but when you actually see a girl dominating you're just kind of shocked," Davis said. "You just want to keep watching."
After the LLWS, Davis threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Dodgers game and schooled comedian Kevin Hart in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. She's met many of her idols, including Skylar Diggins and Maya Moore. She's also penned a memoir, and Disney -- the parent company of ESPN -- is making a movie about her.
But Davis' day-to-day life is far from the limelight, and she likes it that way. Now a freshman at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, a private school in Philadelphia, Davis fills her day balancing school and sports.
"It's all about time management," she said after a recent soccer practice at her school.
Davis has about an hour commute to school each day, and she usually spends it sleeping. She is a teenager, after all -- which also might also explain her penchant for Doritos and Philly cheesesteaks, though, "I'm pretty good with eating healthy foods," she said, adding that Granny Smith applesauce is a favorite snack.
I don't think about anything else on the court. It frees my mind.Mo'ne Davis
An honor student, Davis says she's committed to getting good grades while continuing to pursue her athletic dreams. But here comes the time management part: Right now, she's playing on her school's varsity soccer team while pitching for her fall travel baseball team, as well. She practices every day after school with her soccer team, and works on hitting, pitching and fielding drills at baseball practice.
She also trains for basketball two days a week, which is where, she said, she finds solace from her hectic schedule.
"I don't think about anything else on the court," she said. "It frees my mind."
Davis said her dream is to play basketball at UConn and then in the WNBA, so she has gotten into a rhythm of putting time in the gym to make that happen.
"First I stretch to get loose, and then I'll do ballhandling," Davis said of her hoops training. "After ballhandling I do shooting drills and, depending on time, I might do conditioning.
"I am working on improving my game all around, but specifically, I want to improve on my footwork."
It doesn't hurt that she's already gotten tips from this year's WNBA MVP. "Elena Delle Donne taught me her step-back move," she said of the Chicago Sky center. "I'll be using that this season."
One thing Davis emphasizes above all else when it comes to playing sports is having fun.
"I can't stay serious during practice," she said. "Even during a game, I'll start laughing."