The 2014 Little League World Series hero will bring her talents to the HBCU and stimulate interest in the program.
After playing basketball, softball and soccer at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Pennsylvania, 2014 LLWS game-changer Mo’ne Davis announced on IG this week that she will be attending Hampton University, and furthering her softball career and academic goals.
Davis was the reincarnation of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson. As a 13-year-old girl competing against boys, she shook up the youth baseball world in the summer of 2014 by becoming just the 17th girl to participate in the LLWS and first African-American shorty to do so.
Every major media outlet from People Magazine to ESPN to The Wall Street Journal was covering the girl from Philly, who played for the Taney Dragons youth baseball program, with the laser fastball, enchanting eyes and self-proclaimed “Clayton Kershaw” hook.
— HBCU Alum (@theHBCUalum) December 19, 2018
Davis’ dominance on the mound totally changed the way people view and accept girls in baseball. She was the talk of the sport and went on a whirlwind two week ride that made her an international phenomenon and household name.
She threw out the first pitch before a World Series game and played in the celebrity game at Madison Square Garden during the NBA’s 2015 All-Star weekend.
She continues to inspire girls, particularly in Philadelphia. Her RBI coach, Steve Bandura, told MLB.com that 20-25 of the approximately 160 kids ages 5-7 who signed up for the inner-city program in 2017 were girls.
As the cameras and the fleeting, 24-hour social media craze dissipated, Davis returned to a relatively normal life, continuing to grow as a person and an athlete.
Basketball began tugging at her hearts strings and she once said that her ultimate goal was to run point for Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies. That’s when we knew baseball was just a visitor in her journey, the light that sparked her flame of greatness.
Her last appearance on a baseball mound was in August of 2017. Davis played for a Philadelphia team in the RBI World Series in Cincinnati. She pitched two innings and got swarmed by spectators for autographs.
— Play Ball (@PlayBall) August 1, 2017
Her LLWS performance was like winning a Heisman or getting inducted into the Hall of Fame. She’ll be popular and able to market her brand and profit off of her lasting impact forever. Now, 17, Davis remains down to earth and rooted in community, with strong parental backing.
Her parents told the media that she chose Hampton because of its communication department. She’s a lock to excel on the softball field.
Davis was reportedly considering two other HBCUs, Bethune-Cookman and Coppin State. She also considered UMASS and the University of Pennsylvania, among others. Her unflappable nature and comfortability in front of the camera makes her a prime candidate to land a big-time gig in the sports media world at some point.
Congratulations to Davis as she writes her next chapter in what has already been an historical and impactful journey. We will be anxious to see what the girl who became a legend at 13 accomplishes in the future.