Greenwich Academy Davis readies for Columbia
It wasn’t a mere coincidence that Greenwich Academy’s basketball fortunes changed when Kaitlyn Davis stepped on the court as an eighth-grader in 2015.
Davis immediately opened eyes with her versatility, shooting touch and dynamic moves to the basket, all of which quickly made Greenwich Academy a contender.
GA went from a team trying to find its way, to a fixture in the FAA Tournament behind Davis, who proceeded to score an impressive 1,305 career points from her first season as an eighth-grader, to her junior year.
The Gators will no doubt, remember the clutch baskets and winning moments from Davis, who will soon embark on her next challenge.
Monday, the GA basketball program gathered to celebrate Davis’ announcement that she will continue her basketball career at the Division I level next season. Davis will take her skills to Ivy League school Columbia University in 2019.
“It was tough, but ultimately it came down to the people at Columbia and I see them really caring about my future and creating a program,” Davis said of her college decision. “I visited at least five times, I went back and forth, because it’s so close. After visiting, I knew those are the players I want to compete with and be part of the rebuilding process with.”
A Norwalk native, the 6-foot-1 Davis has played every position for Greenwich Academy, exhibiting stellar ball handling/shooting skills and a strong low-post game. She said Columbia has plans for her at the small forward/swing position.
“I’m looking forward to playing top names, top teams, top competitors and showing everyone that the Ivy League is good,” Davis said.
After helping lead the team to successful seasons her first two years on the squad, Greenwich Academy advanced to the FAA Tournament finals in 2016 for the first time since 1997 with a 19-6 record. Last season saw the Gators advance to the FAA Tournament semifinals and finish 8-12, following an 0-7 start with Davis sidelined for seven games with a leg injury.
“Kaitlyn choosing to go to Columbia is a joyous occasion for her, the school her family and myself,” said GA coach Wes Matthews, who took over the coaching reigns the same season Davis arrived. “Her dream has come true. Columbia is getting a polished athlete and a quality young lady.”
Matthews has witnessed the team draw inspiration from Davis over the years.
“Everybody wants to be with Kaitlyn,” said Matthews, a Bridgeport native and former NBA guard. “She loves to work and she loves the game. For the girls on the team to see her sign with a school — I can see their eyes light up thinking, “maybe that can be me someday.”
Davis, who mainly plays forward at GA, eclipsed the 1,000 career-point plateau as a sophomore against St. Luke’s School on Feb. 10, 2017. It occurred during a 28-point effort, one of the numerous 20-plus scoring games she’s produced for the Gators.
“Her physical ability on the court is so impressive,” Greenwich Academy athletic director Martha Brousseau said. “We are going to miss her, but we are excited that she has created this opportunity for herself, both in the classroom and on the court at such a prestigious school. She’s an inspiration to our program.”
Davis isn’t the only member of her family that is planning on playing collegiate basketball. Her twin sister Olivia, a guard on the GA squad, recently committed to play at Hamilton College.
“It’s amazing that my sister is going to play basketball in college too,” Kaitlyn Davis said. “It’s all we could ever hope for. I started playing first as a kid and then she joined in and we started playing against each other, shooting around in the backyard.”
Recuperating from an injury to her right knee (meniscus), Kaitlyn Davis could miss the Gators’ 2018-2019 season.
“I’m doing strength training right now,” Davis said. “I don’t want to do too much cardio, because I want to limit the impact on my knee.”
Though she won’t be on the court, Davis will do whatever she can to aid her teammates.
“I sat out for half the season last year with an injury, so I know what it’s like to watch the team play,” Davis said. “I’ll just try to motivate them as much as possible and cheer them on, while giving advice and being constructive too.”
Davis credits Matthews and her AAU basketball coach Scotty Nails (Connecticut Basketball Club coach) for helping motivate her to continue to hone her skills.
“Wes and Scotty Nails helped me become a hard worker,” she said. “I have been working so long on getting better and better.”
Indeed, the GA team has gotten better and better since Davis’ arrival.
“It was a challenge at first, GA was not a basketball culture, so we had to build it,” Davis said. “It’s been fun to see our team go through the process of improving so much.”
Coached by Megan Griffith, Columbia is currently 2-2 on the young season.
“I am looking forward to playing against great college competition when I get to Columbia,” Davis said. “I am going to continue to work on being versatile, which will help me on the court.”