Men's Sports Sports

Kennard Davis Jr. shines at Hoophall Classic as under-the-radar talent

By Sean Savage

The Spalding Hoophall Classic showcases many future stars and big names, giving them the recognition they deserve. However, one 6-foot-5, 185-pound small forward out of St. Louis, MO. has seemingly flown under the radar from many prestigious schools. 

His name is Kennard Davis Jr., a senior at Vashon High School (MO). Throughout his time at Vashon, Davis Jr. has done nothing but win basketball games.

“He is a winner. He has been a part of multiple state championships. He does not have an ego, and he understands that he will do whatever is required of him. He has an impact on many,” said Vashon head coach Tony Iron.

Davis Jr. has a large part in the abundance of success for his school. Since 2016, Vashon has claimed five state championships.

Davis, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the Prep Hoops Missouri Class of 2023 rankings, has played a significant role in the Wolverines’ run to back-to-back state titles. 

Due to Davis’s success, he has committed to Southern Illinois to play Division I basketball. 

“I knew as a freshman that Davis had the potential to go Division I. His work ethic really paved the way for him,” Iron said.

Over Davis’s four years on the squad, Iron has served as a mentor, taking Davis under his wing. “I always try to keep it honest with him,” Iron said. “He is a very coachable kid, and he works hard. Whenever an opportunity comes up for him to work, he takes it.”

However, there are speculations that Davis could have gone to a school more renowned for collegiate hoops.

And on Sunday afternoon, Davis showcased his true potential – playing with a chip on his shoulder – proving his value to everyone on the sidelines and in the stands.

He played all 32 minutes of Vashon’s matchup against St. John Neumann-Maria Gorett (PA). Every second of the game, Davis’s hustle was apparent. In the first quarter, he had a LeBron-like chase-down block pinned against the backboard, leaving the crowd in awe. Later on, he hit a buzzer-beater three-pointer to give them a 12-9 lead heading into the second.

His shot is smooth, and his talent deserves recognition. By the final buzzer, he poured in a game-high 19 points and added eight rebounds in a hard-fought loss.

During his junior year, Davis averaged a team-high 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game to lead the Wolverines to a 27-4 record. Similarly, he averaged 10.1 points and 5.0 rebounds a year prior as a sophomore.

“I always get extra shots up after practice,” Davis said. “I always try to guard the best player in practice and games, and I will continue to do that.” 

Additionally, Iron works the kids past their limits.

“I make sure every practice is harder than games,” he said. “It is really fast-paced. I try to get them ready for college. Each practice is very detail oriented.”

Davis takes advantage of each of those practices to help him grow as a player. During his high school career, Davis has blossomed into a leader and cultivated a winning mentality – both of which will benefit him at the next level.

“He embodies what it means to be a competitor,” Iron said. “That is going to translate and serve him well in college. The sky is the limit for him.”


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