Riverdale's Davenport commits to Clemson

Riverdale's Davenport commits to Clemson

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Riverdale's Davenport commits to Clemson

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MURFREESBORO

Shelbie Davenport waited for the right school to come around.

And then she waited some more — until Clemson called.

The Riverdale basketball senior committed this past week to the ACC school, becoming the second on this year’s team to commit to a Division I program.

“I can’t put into words what it means to commit,” Davenport said. “I’m not thinking about it all the time. I’m not waiting for a phone call, or opening letters.

“I can now just play ball and not worry about it.”

Commitments are non-binding for the athlete and the school. She cannot sign until Nov. 13 when the one-week early signing period begins.

Davenport, a 6-foot shooting guard, averaged 13.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists this past season for Riverdale. The Lady Warriors completed a 35-0 season to repeat as state champion. Riverdale was also named national champion by both ESPN and MaxPreps.

She joins teammate Alexa Middleton as a Division I commitment on this year’s team. Middleton is a Tennessee commitment. Teammate Brandy Alley recently committed to Faulkner University, an NAIA school.

Clemson is coached by Audra Smith, who is in her first season. Clemson is coming off a 9-21 season, and was 5-13 in the ACC.

“They need to turn things around,” Davenport said. “I’m one of her first commits.”

Davenport had offers from MTSU and Lipscomb among others. She said she had dreamed of going to Vanderbilt, but never received an offer.

“That’s where I wanted to be,” Davenport said. “But they got done with their recruit list and I wasn’t offered. I was devastated. I didn’t know where I wanted to be because I had always set my goals on going there.”

But Clemson finally came calling.

The recruitment was brief, only about two to three days. Davenport Googled the program and coaching staff in an attempt to get as much information on the program as possible. The coaches recruited her as a shooting guard.

“My family said to do what you want to do,” she said. “If I wanted to go big, go big. If I wanted to go small, go small. They supported me with whatever I wanted to do.”

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