Davis patient amid coronavirus uncertainty

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Sunday, March 15, 2020
Jacksonville’s Davonte Davis goes up for a shot between Memphis Wooddale’s Santerrio Brown (55) and Anaias Bennett (12) during the third quarter of Friday’s first-round game in the King Cotton Classic at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Davis, an Arkansas signee, finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.
Photo by Thomas Metthe
Jacksonville’s Davonte Davis goes up for a shot between Memphis Wooddale’s Santerrio Brown (55) and Anaias Bennett (12) during the third quarter of Friday’s first-round game in the King Cotton Classic at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. Davis, an Arkansas signee, finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.

— Arkansas 2020 basketball signee and Jacksonville standout Davonte Davis was just more than 24 hours from playing in the Class 5A state tournament championship game, a contest he had long dreamed of being in.

But concerns about the coronavirus caused the Arkansas Activities Association to postpone the final two days of the three-day state championships in Hot Springs.

Davis (6-4, 175) is waiting to hear when, or if, Jacksonville (20-5) will play West Memphis (26-4), which features Auburn signee Chris Moore.

“We have made it this far and my team and I were ready to play for the championship and we got the news that the game was going to be rescheduled,” Davis said. “(Jacksonville head) Coach (Victor Joyner) told us that we just stick together and hopefully we will still be able to play the championship game, which was the goal all season.”

Davis is part of a four-member Arkansas recruiting class that is ranked sixth nationally and also includes former North Little Rock and Montverde (Fla.) Academy star Moses Moody (6-6, 190), former Bryant and Oak Hill Academy standout Khalen “KK” Robinson (6-1, 180) and Fort Smith Northside big man Jaylin Williams (6-10, 230).

Moody was part of No. 1 Montverde’s 25-0 regular season that was supposed to conclude with the Geico High School National Championships on April 2-4, but that been indefinitely postponed.

Robinson’s Oak Hill Academy team finished 36-3, while Williams led the Grizzlies to a 20-10 mark and just one win away from a fourth consecutive Class 6A state championship game appearance.

The group, which has been dubbed the 'Fantastic Four,' has stayed in contact during this week of uncertainty.

“It is really weird,” Davis said. “I’ve never had anything like this in my days of being here. It is something that we will never forget. I'm sure more things will happen as the years go on, but this is really big. I have never seen anything like it.

“We were talking about it in our Fantastic Four group chat. We were saying in 20 years we will be talking about it with our kids about what is going on right now and be asked a lot of questions. We will go through and hopefully everyone stays safe and hopefully it ends.”

The quartet has plans to be on the Arkansas campus in late May or early June with Moody, Robinson and Williams all set to sign during the April 15-May 20 spring signing period.

Davis, who averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals this season, signed with the Razorbacks in November.

“All of us have talked to the coaches,” Davis said. “The other guys still have to sign, but we are all planning on being up there probably around the first of June to get ready for summer school and start working out.”

Davis will attempt to stay in shape and get some workouts in with his teammates while Arkansas schools are shut down through at least the end of this week.

“There are a couple of gyms down here that are open 24 hours, so me and the guys stay in contact and we will be getting in the gym,” Davis said. “We won’t be able to be with the coaches, but we will still be working on our game because you never know when they will reschedule the game. We just have to stay ready.”

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