View Mobile Site

Boys Athlete of the Week: East Hall's Kyvon Davenport

Vikings center has become one of area's top rebounders

POSTED: January 13, 2014 9:07 p.m.

Even in a basketball program with a tradition as rich as East Hall’s, Kyvon Davenport is leaving quite the impact in his first year as a full-time starter.

The Vikings’ junior center has quickly found his niche on the court: rebounding. With an average of 15 boards per game, he’s already threatening team records in the category.

It’s not atypical to see Davenport post numbers similar to last Friday’s against White County. He amassed 22 rebounds to go along with 18 points, and even hit a go-ahead free throw with 3.3 seconds remaining to give his team an important 76-75 win in region play.

For his efforts, Davenport is The Times’ Boys Athlete of the Week.

“We really needed that region game,” Davenport said. “I had to really concentrate and focus, and mute everybody out, because the other team was yelling to try and throw me off.”

Nevertheless, the free throw sank, and the lanky 6-foot-5 junior walked off the court having dominated the East Hall (7-8) stat sheet once again, and with a win at hand.

“When it goes up, I just go get it,” Davenport said. “If they don’t box me out, that’s how I get all my rebounds. I try to go for every single one.

“It was the first time I’ve been in that situation. I think I did well, and I think I could do it again in the future.”

He’ll probably have to. With double-double numbers on the season, including 19 points per game, Davenport is clearly the Vikings’ biggest threat on both ends of the court.

He’s eclipsed the 20-point mark on several occasions, but his rebounding numbers are eye-popping. His season high is 24, which he reached in a game during the Tiger Classic tournament last month in Niceville, Fla.

Incredibly enough, Davenport didn’t play in the fourth quarter of the game due to foul trouble. Had he gone back in, he would’ve had a chance to match or eclipse East Hall’s single-game record of 31 rebounds, set by former Viking great Antoine Whelchel.

“If I had known he was at 24 rebounds, I would’ve played him in the fourth quarter,” East Hall coach Joe Dix said.

That’s where Davenport learned for the first time that he was every opponent’s target, due simply to his height.

The following game in the tournament, he was triple-teamed every time he touched the ball, limiting him to just six points and nine rebounds.

“I think he was a little shocked afterwards,” Dix said. “He’s handled the double team much better since then, but he has to continue to assert himself in every game.”

Davenport isn’t always the biggest player on the court, and pulling down the rebounds isn’t always easy.

Even in Region 7-AAA play, he’s sometimes paired up against players with greater size. He has already faced West Hall’s hulking center Hunter Atkinson (6-6, 255) twice, and squared off against Buford’s Rakim Lubin (6-8, 255) on Dec. 11. Each time, he still managed double-double numbers.

In the Lanierland Tournament championship game, he tallied 23 points and 14 boards against a talented Johnson team. Despite the loss, he was named to the all-tournament team.

“It was pretty difficult — we lost to a good team,” Davenport said. “I thought I could do better in that game. I don’t think we played to our full potential against them, and I thought we should’ve won.”

But at just 16 years of age, Davenport still has a lot of growing up to do, physically and mentally.

He’s expected to grow a few more inches by his senior season, and he’s working with a strength and conditioning coach to add bulk to his frame. That should help improve his physical presence at the post, where players tend to take the most damage.

From a mental standpoint, Dix wants Davenport to evolve into a vocal leader and expect to be handed the ball in crucial late-game situations, such as Friday’s crucial free throw visit.

“I told him he has to be a little more demanding of the basketball,” Dix said. “I told him he’s earned the right to be guy we throw to ball to in that situation.”

Davenport is beginning to attract interested from college teams, including Chipola College in Marianna, Fla., which scouted him during East Hall’s tournament in Florida. The program is currently ranked fourth in national among junior college teams with a 16-1 record.

Right now, Davenport is fixated on helping the Vikings finish the rest of the season unbeaten in region play, which would likely put his team in contention for a top playoff seeding.

East Hall visits Banks County at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“We don’t need to lose any more region games,” Davenport said. “We need to go and beat Banks County, and then look ahead.”


Contents of this site are © Copyright 2010 The Times, Gainesville, GA. All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...