Deonna “Dee” Davis is the author of A Player’s Guide to College Hoops. Dee was a natural talent on the court from a young age and had a very decorated high school, collegiate, professional and international basketball career. Dee became one of the first ever females to become a McDonald’s All-American player. When graduating from high school, Dee attended Vanderbilt University where she had an incredibly successful career.
During her time at Vanderbilt, she joined the 1,000-point club, became the career assist leader, received 1st team All-SEC and Kodak All-American Honorable Mention. Playing as a point guard, she led her team to two Sweet Sixteen appearances, two Second Round of the NCAA Tournament appearances, and two SEC Championships. All of Dee’s accomplishments then lead her to be drafted at the 14th pick overall in the WNBA’s 2007 Draft to the Houston Comets. After leaving Houston, Dee went on to play in training camps in Seattle and San Antonio, in addition to playing internationally in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
With her breadth of experience and now being a high school varsity coach, Dee knows the recruiting process requires next level thinking and how it can be overwhelming for young athletes. This led Dee to write a book to help influence student-athletes’ post-secondary decisions and expose them to the collegiate recruiting methodology. This guide provides a step-by-step “how to” for those wanting to pursue being a collegiate athlete.
I had the opportunity to meet Dee Davis during my time playing at Vanderbilt University, so it was really exciting to reach out to and interview her to learn more about A Player’s Guide to College Hoops. Since she was such an extraordinary player and played for many years, I wanted to know what the funniest thing or moment she had on the court. Dee shared that in Las Vegas in a WNBA pre-season scrimmage game she had heard someone yell “shoot it” when she was dribbling up the court and she thought it came from her team’s bench. Without looking up at the shot clock, she shot the ball from half-court. Since there was no need for that haphazard shot, she was embarrassed, and her entire team and more than likely their opponents were all laughing. She couldn’t help but find humor in the situation at that moment.
I wanted to understand what motivated Dee to write this book. Dee said her motivation behind writing the book “stemmed from so many Division I transfers that happened last year, which ended up being over 800 transfers. It led her to question what was going into their decision-making process, but more importantly, who was advising them. During her recruitment, she was fortunate to have a great mentor who encouraged her to think “about the big picture’ and finding what was most important to her when finding her perfect school.”
Dee believes this book is important because “there are people giving unsolicited advice on how to go about the recruitment process, but they have never actually gone through it themselves. There are rules, academic requirements, and terminology that is very important that most kids do not have any idea about. This book serves as a guide that allows these athletes to take ownership of the process, as I ask questions throughout the book that require answers. There are also interview questions that I asked current college basketball player’s about their recruitment and what they would have done differently”.
Dee shares her book with us because she has been influenced not only by her general basketball experience but her personal experiences as a player and as a coach. She tapped into her network of peers and mentors to gain further insight on what is essential for student-athletes to know about the process. Dee uses a combination of research from the NCAA website, college coaches, athletic directors, current student-athletes, as well as her personal accounts in her book to provide valuable, well-rounded information for athletes and their parents.
When I asked Dee about LRT Sports, she said that she “I would have loved having a resource such as LRT Sports, because the process is very stressful if you are a highly recruited athlete, and even for a player who is not being recruited. It’s beneficial to have a resource that can help direct you on the right path”. That is one reason she feels her book will be valuable for those student-athletes as well, to help keep things in perspective.
As the author, I wanted to know her favorite piece of advice was in the book. Dee shared that her favorite piece of advice was “When deciding on your ideal school, make sure you understand that you aren’t selecting the school for the next four years of your life, you are choosing the school for the next forty. You want to base your decision on a school that can help you more than you can help them”.
Dee shared that there is a possibility that she will write another book focused on information for the parents. If you are interesting in buying A Player’s Guide to College Hoops here is the link: https://www.deedavisbasketball.com/dee-davis-books
Posted on June 28, 2018 in Half Time Talk
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.