How It All Began: An Excerpt From 'Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name'

Adding one more accomplishment to a long list since her breakthrough performance at the Little League World Series, Mo'ne Davis has written a book about her experience as an athlete. David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images

Mo'ne Davis caught the nation's attention in 2014 when she became the first girl to win a Little League World Series game. The 13-year-old's memoir, "Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name," is out now. Here's an excerpt from the first chapter, when 7-year-old Davis is trying to convince her mother, cooking dinner, to call coach Steve Bandura, who saw her playing football and invited her to join a team he was starting.

"This man wants you to call him," I told her.

"Who is he? You shouldn't just be talking to strangers."

"He isn't a stranger, he's Mark's baseball coach," I said. "He wants to invite me to play on a basketball team."

"Oh, OK, I'll call him," she said as she sprinkled some cinnamon into the sweet potato pot. Yum!

I hoped my mom would pick up the phone while she cooked. But she didn't. She didn't pick it up then, or when she washed the dishes, or when we were watching TV later on that night.

"Mom, you gotta call that man," I reminded her the next morning when I put on my uniform for school.

"OK, I will."

When I got home after school, I asked her again.

"Did you call that man yet?"

"Not yet."

"When are you going to call him?"


It turns out that my mom wasn't exactly thrilled about me playing what she saw as an aggressive sport.

When I was a baby, she thought that I would become a girlie girl -- the kind who would like dressing up, and getting her hair braided and curled, and playing with dolls.

But I wasn't that girl. My mom says whenever she would buy me a doll, I would just look at her like she was crazy.

I'd rather run around with a football or basketball and try to keep up with my brother Qu'ran, who is four years older than me.

"I was a big Allen Iverson fan," says Qu'ran. "So I started playing basketball, and she saw me dribbling and found it attractive, and started doing the same thing."

People say I look just like Qu'ran. You could say he is the boy version of me.

The next day, I tried with my mother again.

"Mom, you gotta call that man."

"All right, Mo'ne, I'm gonna call."

When I came home from school, she picked up the phone and started dialing Coach Steve.

"My daughter, Mo'ne, gave me a piece of paper with your name and number on it and said that you wanted me to call you," she said as she sat in a kitchen chair.

I leaned up against her so I could listen.

"Oh, yeah, hi, my name is Steve Bandura. I coach the Anderson Monarchs. I was watching your daughter play football the other day."

"Football! Mo'ne's playing football?" My mother frowned. My mom, she's the kind of person who sometimes fusses a lot, but even when she's yelling, you can do something funny and make her laugh.

"She was just throwing the ball around with her cousin Mark, who I coach on the Monarchs, and some of their friends," Coach Steve said. "Oh, OK." My mother relaxed.

"I've never seen anyone throw like that at her age -- boy or girl -- and I've been coaching kids for a long time."

"I didn't even know Mo'ne could throw a football," she said, raising one eyebrow and giving me a side-eye.

A few weeks before, I had talked to her about football.

Qu'ran had taught me how to throw a football.

My friend Qayyah and I wanted to play for the South Philly Hurricanes at Smith Playground. "Her mom said that if my mom let me play, she could play. And my mom said, if her mom let her play, I could play," Qayyah says. "But then they wouldn't let us."

"Not many kids that age can throw a football, because the ball's so big and their hands are so small. But Mo'ne was throwing the ball about twenty yards," Coach Steve told my mom. "I'm starting a Monarchs team of 7-year-olds. It's all boys, but I invited her to come to basketball practice."

"You want Mo'ne to play on a basketball team with all boys?!" My mother started to talk very fast, like she does when she gets worked up.

"Your daughter's got something special," he said.

"But playing with boys -- I don't want my daughter getting hurt!"

"They're just 7. There's not a lot of physical contact."

"Oh, OK." I could feel my mom calming down.

"Thank you very much. I'll think about it and get back to you," she said, and hung up the phone. "Mo'ne, you wanna go?"

I broke into a smile.


Even though she didn't like the idea of me playing with boys, my mom took me to practice the very next day.

"Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name": Copyright 2015 by Mo'ne Davis, used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.