Brandon Davis, standout shortstop, speaks about his path to scholarship

Brandon Davis

Brandon Davis, standout shortstop, speaks about his path to scholarship
August 31
14:26 2022

Brandon Davis accomplished a lot during his time with the Reynolds Demons baseball team. He collected a host of accolades and honors that has garnered him a lot of attention from the next level. After serious consideration, Davis has chosen to play his college baseball at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).

Davis is one of the best baseball players in the Triad area. He is a shortstop with tremendous skills at the plate and in the field. Those talents made him a desirable recruit for several schools, but the 49ers won the Davis sweepstakes.

“To start off, I always wanted to go somewhere where it could feel like family,” said Davis about UNCC. “I got a very family feel from UNC Charlotte and the coaching staff made me a priority the first day on campus. 

“I wanted to go somewhere I could trust, and I don’t have to expect surprises. I feel like Charlotte has been very honest with me. I wanted to go somewhere where I can go from there and then play at the next level, because eventually you won’t be able to play baseball. The facilities are there and the coaches are there and they have just about everything that can make you better.”

There were other schools on the radar for Davis’s services. He originally committed to Georgetown University; however, he opted to open back up his recruiting during his senior season and UNCC became a viable option because of its proximity to Winston-Salem.

“My mother and father are older and they both have preexisting conditions, so I needed to be somewhere closer to home,” said Davis. “I need to be able to still support them, especially my mom. Me and my mom have been through thick and thin together.”

Being an African American baseball player is not lost on Davis. He realizes that the number of Black players has dipped severely over the last 25 years and wants to be a part of making the sport popular with Black youth once again.

“I am not only excited for me, I am excited for any other minority that sees me play,” he said. “That’s also a big part of any time I don’t want to do something, I have to remember that as well. I am not just doing it for me, I am doing it to motivate younger minorities to stay in the game and do what they do and show what they got. I realized that it’s definitely bigger than just me and that helps motivate me every day.”

Davis excelled at several sports as a youth. He got into baseball by watching “The Sandlot” movie on television with his grandmother when he was a kid and fell in love with the game.

“I wanted to be like every person in The Sandlot and it was as simple as that, and it never stopped sticking and I always wanted to do it,” he says about how he fell in love with baseball.  “Every day, every night, that’s all I thought about and that’s all I ever wanted to do. I have a passion for it.”

Baseball came easy to Davis because of the hard work he put into his preparation. As a seven-year-old, he was playing up in age against 11-year-old kids and was still the best player on the field. He played up in age all the way until he reached high school. 

Once he reached high school, he played at the highest level of AAU baseball from the start. He was able to play at such a high level due to the work ethic his father instilled in him. It was nearly an every night occurrence for them to hit and catch balls well after the sun went down.

“It’s no reason to be denied and he made me realize that at a very young age,” Davis said about the work ethic his father instilled in him.

Due to his high skill level, there were a lot of expectations placed on the shoulders of Davis during his time at Reynolds. He says Reynolds was never a “powerhouse” school when it comes to baseball and they had to fight to make it to the playoffs each and every year.

“Simply put, I had to be great and it’s been like that since my freshman year,” he stated. “They expect me to go four for four every game with four doubles, make six diving plays and that’s just the expectations. Expectations have always been very high for me and I hope I met them. I felt like I did pretty good.”

Unfortunately for Davis, his time on the field hasn’t been all peaches and cream. He says he has had to endure racial slurs on the field from fans, opposing players and even teammates.

“I have been called racial slurs at least five times every year since I have been in middle school, all the way up to high school,” he said. “Mentally, to block out something and to not be the angry Black man is the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life.”

Davis says one of the things that helped him through those tough times on the field was his father. Davis stated his father was one of the most “brutally honest” people he has ever met, and his father made him have tough skin that helped him ignore the ignorance he faced on the field.

Another struggle for Davis throughout his career was coaches attempting to change his position. Because he is such a good athlete, he says coaches would move him to the outfield routinely. Davis, however, wanted to play the middle infield at shortstop. He says he never told a coach no and made the most of the position changes, but his talent at shortstop stood out so much he stuck there.

Davis doesn’t model his game after just one player. He has guys that he likes for their individual skill sets on the diamond.

“My dream is to be like Ozzie Smith, but I can’t do a million flips,” he said jokingly. “I always wanted to be like Francisco Lindor because we play the game the same way. I always wanted to have the passion of Javy Baez. I always wanted to have the speed of Billy Hamilton. I always wanted to have the triple crowns of a Miguel Cabrera.  I’ve always watched a different person for a different aspect of the game, so I could never like spot one guy.”

Davis gives a lot of credit to his parents for all of their dedication to his love of the game of baseball. They have slept in the car, driven all across the country and made many sacrifices to ensure Davis had every opportunity to succeed. He says he couldn’t have done it without their efforts.

Brandon’s mother, Katrina Davis, says they have faced some impossible situations, but God has led them to this point to have Brandon receive a scholarship to college.

“With Brandon, my last child, it was more responsibility on me,” said Mrs. Davis. “Now, my husband is in a position to take care of everything financially, so my life is about the children and he is the last one and I couldn’t fail. Failure was not an option and whatever sacrifices needed to be made on my part wasn’t a question, because my children are my life.

“To hear him speak of the sacrifices, our input and our methods is sounding like it paid off and we didn’t do too bad. God has plans for us and we always can’t see through them. It’s nothing other than the manifestations of God.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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