Talking Hoops With Elijah Davis

Sitting Down With the Boy's Basketball Team Captain to Discuss the Season So Far

Chris Holliday, Staff Writer

Wow, just like that, the first semester is over. We are halfway through the school year, which means that the basketball team is well into their season. The team is currently 8-10 coming off a difficult loss to Panther Creek. Yet with 6 games to go and a 4-5 conference record, there is still a lot to play for this season.

I caught up with Elijah Davis after his 20 point outing against Athens Drive on Friday to discuss his team’s play so far this year.

How do you think the team has done so far this season?

We’ve been doing pretty good. We started off 1-5. We struggled with listening to the coaches and not paying attention to detail. But lately we’ve been paying attention to detail along with playing harder and having a higher sense of urgency. Monday night, we didn’t have the energy that we needed. But we had a good practice Tuesday to prepare us for our upcoming games.


Was there a game that you felt was the turning point?

I felt like it was the practice after Riverside. After Riverside, which made us 1-5, Coach Pat and Coach Sheed were really upset. After that we just started to compete, which began with a great practice week. The Green Hope game being pushed back allowed us to scrimmage the JV team, who we beat. That led us to us beating Green Hope and Panther Creek and losing a really tough one to Hillside. That week was the turning point.


Speaking of coaches, has there been an adjustment period from Coach Annas to Coach Wallace?

As much as I love Coach Annas, who was such a great coach for me personally, I feel like Coach Sheed and Coach Pat have gotten us to compete and play harder. That was a major struggle last year, which led to a 7-15 season. This season, the coaches have done a great job getting us prepared for games. That’s just one of the reasons that the results have improved this year.


So what has the practice dynamic been with the Coach Pat and Coach Sheed combo?

To be honest, Coach Sheed is honestly the chill one. Coach Pat tends to be the one that yells. Occasionally, Coach Sheed will have a bad practice as well. But those two work together so well, because they have great basketball minds. They have really good chemistry and they’ve done a really good job this first season.


More than halfway through the season, what are the team’s biggest strengths and weaknesses so far?
I feel like our biggest strength is our athleticism. Besides me, we have a lot of athletes. A lot of people who can go get buckets. We are a really good defensive team when we rebound. Teams have struggled scoring on our tandem zone. Our biggest weakness is our complacency and laziness at times, which has resulted in a couple of disappointing losses.


How has the experience you gained playing on varsity last year helped your game this season?

I’ve been playing varsity since 8th grade at Trinity. Yet, it’s different when you come to public school. There’s a MAJOR jump. The athleticism is off the charts. You have to be good every single night to get a win, which isn’t easy. And I saw that last year, where I had a really bad season last year, especially shooting the ball. That was a major focal point of this off-season by getting more confidence in my shot and becoming more athletic to improve my team.


This year’s Jordan team is relatively young (four underclassmen). Who are some young players to watch and how’s the dynamic been with them?

Well, we start a freshman point guard [Amari Odom]. He’s definitely learning as the season progresses. It’s been impressive to see him go from middle school to 4A basketball within a year. You don’t expect him to have made the jump that quickly, but he has made it look easy. Maxwell Thorton played JV last year, while not starting for most of the year, he’s been a major contribution to the team. Dawson Edwards played varsity last year and he continually improves every single day. Jordan Reece is a high energy player off the bench. He always comes into the game and is phenomenal at running the floor.


As a captain, what has it been like to step into that role and balance the different skill sets of the team?

It’s been a little difficult, not gonna lie. This is my first year being a captain since middle school AAU basketball. But this year, Tyler Cox and I have had to step up into the captain role. It’s been a really good journey. I take a huge responsibility in trying to lead this team to success. Personally at times, I feel like some of my losses are on me for not having prepared my team to win the game. Yet, every win feels like a team win, because it can’t be done without every player contributing. So I’m thankful for Coach Pat and Coach Sheed for giving me the opportunity to be captain. Through the ups and downs, it has been a really good experience for me.


Last question, what are your predictions for this team as the season starts to come to an end?

We have about 5 games left. This team needs to compete. We could go 0-5 or 5-0, it just depends on how hard we play. But I have faith in my teammates that we will compete. I believe in my coaches and everyone in our program that we will have a good shot at winning the conference tournament. We let the regular-season championship slip away with Hillside still being undefeated. Yet, we’ve competed with them including our overtime game against them, so I think that this team has a great opportunity to make a run in the postseason.


Jordan returns home on February 3rd to play Cary High School. This is the beginning of a 4 game homestand, which will culminate with Green Hope for Senior Night on February 14th.