Now recovered from a severe knee injury, Maya Davis is making a major impact on the Middlebury College women’s basketball team. The Milton native tore her ACL during her senior season at Milton Academy. The injury limited her effectiveness during her freshman year at Middlebury.
A 5-foot-11 forward, Davis has started all 16 games as a sophomore and leads the team in scoring (10.9 points) and rebounds (6.7). She has also gone to the the free throw line a team-best 58 times, converting at 81 percent.
Davis averaged 4.6 points per game as a freshman. As a junior at Milton Academy, she earned all Independent Schools League honors as a junior. She is majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry with a minor in global health.
Q. How did the injury occur?
A. During my senior season against Phillips Andover, I was going up for a layup to win the game when a girl on the other team fell into my leg, tearing my ACL. At first I was devastated because of the injury; however, I learned a lot about myself as not only a basketball player, but also as a person.
Q. What advice do you have for others who face similar season-ending injuries?
A. Watching the game instead of playing forced me to learn a great deal, and I wouldn’t be the player I am today if not for this experience. During my freshman year at Middlebury, I suffered another knee injury, thankfully not as bad, and I was able to come back after only missing a few games. The toughest part about the recovery is the speed of the process. It feels as if there are more setbacks than successes. It took me almost almost 8 months post surgery to get cleared for contact basketball, and over a year for me to feel like myself again on the court. I don’t know if I would go so far to say that I’m thankful for the injury, but I am grateful for everything the injury taught me and how it has changed me as a person and player.
Q. The team won its first eight games. What fueled the strong start?
A. Definitely our trust in each other. Everyone brings something special, and together, the 15 of us believe that we have to power to beat any opponent that we face. In addition, we pushed ourselves in the preseason because we knew the challenges we would face during season.
Q. Your offensive productivity is up significantly. Doing anything differently?
A. I was still coming back from the injury last season. This fall I started to feel like I got my groove back, and was able to gain confidence in myself on offense which has allowed me to score more.
Q. Did you do anything in particular to prepare for this season?
A. This past summer I worked out at Stadium Performance, a strength and conditioning center, in addition to playing in a summer league with some other players from the NESCAC at Tufts.
Q. What is the strongest asset that you bring to the team?
A. I think my defense and my moves around the basket.
Q. Are you most effective from a certain range on the floor?
A. I’m scoring most of my points around the basket and at the free throw line, with a jump shot here and there.
Q. Any pre-game rituals?
A. I swish two free throws in a row.
Q. Do you have a role model in life?
A. I have two role models and they would be my parents [Lorn and Tamar]. They have supported me through every endeavor and shown my sister [Talia] and I that we can do almost anything if we put our minds to it.
Q. How did you end up at Middlebury?
A. I want to be a doctor, so when choosing a school I wanted to be sure that I would be able to be on the pre-med track and play basketball, without having to sacrifice one for the other. At Middlebury I am able to do both without feeling that I am not able to commit myself fully to either passion.
John Johnson can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.