When I grow up: 12-year-old uses city basketball league to help toward goals

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 14, 2018

Olivia Davis keeps a running list of her favorite athletes from the National Basketball Association, organized methodically between current and former players.

Yet when the 12-year-old Natchez native grows up, Davis doesn’t want to be anything like them. Instead, she wants to be better.

“I want to be in the WNBA,” Davis said. “Girls can do anything boys can do. I play around boys a lot, and a lot of the times I beat them.”

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On the top of her list, Davis said her favorite player is Kyrie Irving. Unfortunately for her, Davis will likely not be playing against the Boston Celtics anytime soon. But, she will soon enter her final year with the City of Natchez Recreation Department Youth Basketball League after signing up Saturday at the Margaret Martin Gymnasium.

“I just love basketball,” Davis said. “I’ve been playing since I was 3 years old. This is my last year, so I’m going to treasure it and just try to have fun.”

Though Davis knows her favorite players by heart, there’s one person she especially looks up to.

“My dad,” she said.

Davis’ father, Louis Davis, is a graduate of North Natchez High School and also a former basketball player at the University of Louisiana Monroe. He grew up playing in the Natchez Recreation Department league.

Alongside Olivia Davis is her 5-year-old sister, Lauren.

Louis Davis said the league has become a staple.

“It keeps my family together,” he said. “It’s a great thing for them to do.”

Olivia Davis agreed she likes to have her sister beside her.

“I’m the one who teaches her,” she said. “Me and my sister, we do everything together.”

Before making it to the WNBA, Olivia Davis must first make it through the seventh grade as a guard for the junior high team at Morgantown Middle School. And until then, she’ll just have to keep setting smaller goals.

“I have pretty long legs, so maybe one day I can dunk,” she said.