After helping the Allan Hancock College men's basketball team reach the Elite Eight in the State Tournament for the first time in 44 years, Devin Davis has scored an opportunity to play Division II basketball. The sophomore guard received a full scholarship to Fort Hays State University.
"This is a dream come true. Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed about playing basketball at a four-year university," said Davis.
The 6-foot-3 guard transferred to Hancock last year from Colorado Northwestern College and succeeded on and off the court in Santa Maria. Academically, he landed on the Dean's List for the fall and spring semesters with 3.5 and 4.0 grade point averages. On the hardwood, Davis earned a spot on the college's Dean's List for the fall and spring semesters. On the hardwood, Davis earned a spot on the All-Western State Conference First Team after averaging 11.2 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs.
"Devin is a competitor and a winner. Many times when the game was on the line, we put the ball in his hands because we knew he would create an opportunity for us," said Tyson Aye, head coach of the Hancock men's basketball program. "One thing we are definitely going to miss is Devin's energy. He always brings positive energy and vibes to his teammates and it spreads to those around him."
Davis recorded eight double-doubles, including an 11-point, 12-rebound effort in the Bulldogs' 91-90 double- overtime win at San Bernardino in the Southern Regional Finals. Davis pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds in a win over Pasadena City College and scored a season-best 24 points in Hancock's second-round playoff win at Fullerton.
"Our team was like a real family. I've never experienced something like that until Hancock," said Davis, reflecting on his time with the Bulldogs. "We believed in and respected each other. We liked each other and looked out for one another. I think that's why we were so successful."
Located in Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State competes at the Division II level as members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MAIA). In 17 seasons as head coach of the Tigers, Mark Johnson has guided the program to two conference titles and seven appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament, most recently in 2016. Last year, the Tigers finished 19-12 overall, the 12th time in Johnson's 17 years as head coach that FHSU finished with at least 19 wins in a season.
"Fort Hays felt like home. It is a family-oriented program, similar to Hancock," said Davis, who will major in business at Fort Hays State. "The coaches are genuine and made me feel like they wanted me as part of their family."
Davis became the 25th men's basketball player to sign with a four-year institution since Aye became Hancock's head coach five seasons ago. He is the fourth player from the 2017-18 team, joining Shane Carney (Arizona Christian), Shemarr Parker (Tabor College) and Javae Lampkins (Texas A&M Corpus Christi). This year, nearly 40 Hancock student-athletes from various sports have signed with four-year institutions.
"We're proud of what Devin accomplished this year. He's been through a lot the past few years and absolutely earned his full scholarship with his positive attitude and resiliency. We can't wait to cheer him on from Santa Maria in the years to come," said Aye.
Fort Hays State opens the 2018-19 season on the road Friday, November 9, against Southwest Minnesota State.