November 18, 2015

Davis ready to win

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Dejon Davis

California Baptist University has become a DII college basketball powerhouse under Coach Rich Croy. Try 50-11 in his two seasons at the Riverside-based school, a member of the PacWest Conference. As an assistant at St. Mary's, the Gaels went 80-22. While heading the Citrus College program, Croy finished 130-35 in five seasons. So he knows talent and how to deploy it to win. That's why he wanted 6-foot-7 Dejon Davis of the Oakland Rebels and Oakland Technical High.

Davis recently tripped to the Riverside campus. “My family and I took a visit to Cal Baptist and they really treated me well. I felt like one of their own. I met with the AD for an hour, visited the dorms and classes and hung out with the team. The last day I made my decision. A lot of D1 schools didn't want me as much and I felt Cal Baptist is a good fit and it's a winning program.” Hardy Asprilla, a former assistant to Croy at Citrus, was Davis’ primary recruiter. Asprilla played big at 6-foot-5 for Cal State Fullerton, leading his squads in rebounding from 2003-2005. So what will Davis bring to his college team? “I'll do everything I can to win. I'll bring energy and rebounding. My scoring will come.” He averaged 10.5 points, 8.9 boards and 1.7 blocked shots last season at Oakland Tech. As for a position at the next level, Davis offered, “great players don't have a position.” Davis is looking to major in physics and art at Cal Baptist. Granted, it's an unusual combination but he has his reasons. “I took physics in my junior year and had such a great teacher that I started to like it a lot more. With art, I've been drawing since I was three years old.” Looking to offer thanks to those who aided him throughout his journey, Davis lauded “Coach Karega Hart who helped me in class and on the court and my AAU coaches Ray [Young, Phil [Taylor and Damon [Jones] who helped make me a better player than I expected. Also, my parents because my mom is my #1 fan and also my sister and her husband because he is the one who first told me about the Oakland Rebels.” By the way, Cal Baptist is already 5-0 thus far this season.