Gilmer Free Press

Courtney Davis Eyeing GSC’s Rebounding Record

The Free Press WV

Courtney Davis is rapidly approaching Glenville State’s all-time rebounding record, helping the program to another amazing season in the Waco Center.

At the release of this story, Coach Kim Stephens’ young squad is 18-2, and leading the Mountain East Conference with a 13-1 mark. Davis again leads the Lady Pioneers in rebounding at 7.5 rpg, and her career total of 951 is only 101 behind all-time leader Tammy Spence, who tallied 1052 in her Hall of Fame career. Davis only 10 behind Tammy Pence-Hughes (another Hall of Famer) for the number two spot.

Davis’ is also on several other all-time Lady Pioneer lists; Her 173 blocked shots is second to all-time leader Denae Dobbins’ total of 234, and her 99 career three-pointers has her in 23rd   place, as she is close to entering the 100-club in that category. Davis recently scored her 1000th point in a home contest against Fairmont, and is on pace to finish in the all-time top 20 scorers list.

Davis has been a key figure in the latest Golden Era of Lady Pioneer Basketball. Since the hiring of Coach Stephens in 2016, the program is a staggering 73-10.

Davis’ journey to athletic stardom began in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, where she attended Dr. Nathan A. Pitts-Ashburton Elementary School/Middle School. After eighth grade, she moved up to the Maryland Academy of Technology & Health Sciences.

The Free Press WV

4418Davis began her athletic career at the age of eight, and her youth sports career included basketball, and playing baseball on boys’ teams. In high school, she also played on the MATHS softball and volleyball teams.  She is also an accomplished musician, and played the flute throughout her childhood years. Among the highlights of her music career, was a concert at Coppin State University.

“I wanted to be like my brother…I used to watch him play basketball and I wanted to be like him. He also played the saxophone, and that is what got me interested in music,“ Davis said. “My father passed away when I was seven, and I began to be involved in a lot of sports and activities to honor him. He was a U.S. Marine and to this day, I play every game for him.“

At MATHS, Davis was a four-year starter in basketball, and scored over 1100 points, and had over 1000 rebounds in her career. She finished as the all-time leading rebounder at the school, a mark that will stand forever, as the school was recently closed.

“I’ve coached alot of great players with great accolades and Courtney Davis is right at the top. What puts her over is I have never coached a better person,“ stated Coach C.J. Scott. “The admiration I have for her is second to none.“

Davis was not highly recruited, but did get a serving of interest from some small schools along the East Coast. She was recruited for GSC by former Lady Pioneer assistant coach Cody Gilmore, who was on the staff of former head coach Charles Marshall at the time. In the end, her choices came down to two schools; Johnson C. Smith (in Charlotte, NC) and Glenville State. She eventually chose GSC.

“Coach Gilmore contacted me every day…there was never a doubt that I was wanted at Glenville,“ Davis said. “He was real with me, and always seemed very genuine. I liked that and so did my family. When I made the choice, my family was part of that decision as well…Glenville was closer to Baltimore than Charlotte.“

The Free Press WV

In the 2015-16 season, Davis had a strong freshman season under Coach Marshall, helping lead the Lady Pioneers to a 17-12 season. She averaged 8.0 ppg and 8.3 rpg during that campaign. Her college career would have a transition in the spring of 2016, as Marshall left to take the head coaching job at West Virginia State. Glenville hired former Lady Pioneer player Kim Stephens.

Things changed at that point.

“When she came in that April, it all started with her first meeting. She made it clear what her vision was for the program, and that she was going to make us mentally tough. She also made it clear that she was going to find out who was on board with that vision,“ Davis said. “I will never forget those running workouts and circuit workouts we had on the track that spring. It definitely set the tempo…it was total hell.“

Some players left, and some players stayed. But as Davis noted…the ones who stayed were mentally tough. The results came quickly.

In the 2016-17 season, Davis was a key component on a 24-6 Lady Pioneer team that ascended back to the top of the MEC. She averaged 9.9 ppg and 9.5 ppg, and the squad returned to the NCAA Tournament.

Glenville State stepped it up even more in the 2017-18 campaign, rolling to another league title, and advancing to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. On the dynamic 31-2 team, the consistent Davis averaged 9.0 ppg and 8.3 rpg. The historic accomplishments of the program over the last three years is not lost on the senior.

“Its really satisfying and fun when your team is the best, and there is nothing like the feeling of winning a championship,“ Davis said. “Our program has worked very hard to get where we are, so it is important that we continue to chase the goals that are ahead of us.“

Reflecting on the journey and realizing her time at GSC is winding down, Davis is very appreciative of her coaches and teammates that have helped her along the way.

“There were times when I knew I could be better, and had to reach down to rely on the love of the game,“ Davis said. “This year, with it being a much younger team, I have had to be more of a leader, and I have not had that role in the past. It has helped me grow as a player, and it has also taught me to do a better job of talking to people.“

“The team goals are what are most important, but I would be lying if I didn’t say the rebound record was important to me,“ Davis said. “A big part of it is that my high school is no longer in existence, so pretty much nobody will ever know that I had that record.“

Coach Stephens has enjoyed the steady numbers that Davis has provided during these amazing three years.

“Courtney Davis is a huge part of our program,“ Stephens said. “I am thankful to have had the opportunity to have coached her during all three of my years here at Glenville State. She has done a fabulous job of being a leader this season. She has grown more than any player I have ever coached over her three years with me. She is a competitor and wants to win as badly as anyone. I have zero doubt that that we would not have had the success we have had if she wasn’t here.“

Davis would like to keep playing, and would consider playing overseas if an opportunity arises. She is currently looking at potential graduate schools as she nears completion of her Exercise Science degree, and would like to someday coach on the AAU circuit.

For now, there is unfinished business to tend to in the Waco Center. The current Lady Pioneers are very much in the chase for another MEC title, and in the conversation of top teams in the Atlantic Region.

“It has been a great experience here,“ Davis said. “I have really enjoyed the atmosphere around the program, and I have made a lot of great friends over these four years.“

--> Monday, February 11, 2019
Readers' Comments:

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVIII Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved