There is piece of yellow paper in the upstairs hallway in the Davis home in Muskegon, and on it is written a series of goals. Each time Deyonta Davis passes it, he stops and takes a look.
One item on the list is to become the state’s Mr. Basketball.
Davis became the 35th winner of the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball award Monday, given annually by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan in conjunction with the Free Press.
Only BCAM members are permitted to vote and votes are tabulated on a 5-3-1 basis. Davis received 854 of the 1,313 first-place votes and totaled 5,223 points. Eric Davis of Saginaw Arthur Hill was second with 3,757 points and Trevor Manuel of Lansing Everett was third with 2,837 points.
“This is the greatest honor of my life,” Davis said in accepting the award, named for the former Free Press sports writer who covered high school athletics for over 40 years. “I salute Eric Davis and Trevor Manuel. They are great players and will be successful at Texas and Oregon.”
Manuel and Everett will be Davis and Muskegon’s opposition today when the teams meet at Lansing Eastern in a Class A quarterfinal game at 7 p.m.
Davis, 6-feet-10, has signed with Michigan State and follows former teammate Deshaun Thrower as Mr. Basketball, the third time one school has had repeat winners.
In 1981 Lansing Eastern’s Sam Vincent was the first winner and was followed by teammate Robert Henderson. In 2009 Detroit Pershing’s Derrick Nix won and the next year Keith Appling took home the award.
Thrower’s victory opened Davis’ eyes to the possibility of becoming Mr. Basketball.
“I want to say I heard about it my ninth grade because we were looking at who was Mr. Basketball for Michigan,” Davis said of the year Bay City Western’s Matt Costello was the winner. “But when I really heard about it was when Deshaun won.
“When he won it, that’s what everybody was telling me, I was going to win it. I was just trying to work towards it. But I was thinking they wouldn’t give it to the same school twice.”
Muskegon’s Deyonta Davis became the 35th winner of the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball award on Monday, March 23, 2015. The award is given to the state’s top senior by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan , in conjunction with the Detroit Free Press.
The coaches didn’t agree — especially after what Davis did a year ago in helping Muskegon win the Class A state title. In the championship game, Davis hit 12 of 14 shots for 26 points. He also added 13 rebounds and blocked three shots, giving him a state record 199 shots for the season.
“His résumé speaks for itself,” said Muskegon coach Keith Guy. “He’s a state champion. He’s lost one game in two years. He broke the state single-season shot-blocking record last year. He changed the game at both ends. He’s just a winner, an unselfish guy and he’s done things the right way.”
Heading into tonight’s quarterfinal game, Davis is averaging 19 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks, and is hitting 67% of his shots.
Last season, Davis emerged as the finest shot blocker in state history — and he has turned shot blocking into an art form.
In Muskegon’s second game this season, the Big Reds were playing Arthur Hill. Muskegon led by two in the closing seconds when Arthur Hill’s Davis stole the ball and appeared to be going in for an uncontested lay-up to force overtime.
Muskegon’s Davis was standing under the Arthur Hill basket when he saw the other Davis head down the court — and suddenly the Big Red turned into a sprinter and raced down the floor.
With only two seconds left on the clock, Davis began to lay the ball up when Muskegon’s Davis came flying from behind and blocked his 10th shot of the game.
It was a signal that this Davis was still the best shot blocker in the state.
“Blocking shots has become second nature to me,” said Davis, who is has the special knack of blocking a shot and then keeping the ball in play.
But there are times he does send the ball into orbit.
“Sometimes I’ll do it just to do it,” Davis said, laughing. “It’s kind of like saying: ‘You’re playing against Deyonta Davis.'”
Make that Mr. Basketball Deyonta Davis.
Here are the results of the 35th annual Hal Schram Mr. Basketball award. Only BCAM members are permitted to vote. Points are awarded on a 5-3-1 basis:
1. Deyonta Davis, Muskegon 5,223 points
2. Eric Davis, Saginaw Arthur Hill 3,757 points
3. Trevor Manuel, Lansing Everett 2,837 points
Here are the 34 former winners of the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award:
2014 Deshaun Thrower, Muskegon (Stony Brook)
2013 Monte Morris, Flint Beecher (Iowa State)
2012 Matt Costello, Bay City Western (Michigan State)
2011 Dwaun Anderson, Suttons Bay (Wagner)
2010 Keith Appling, Detroit Pershing (Michigan State)
2009 Derrick Nix, Detroit Pershing (Michigan State)
2008 Brad Redford, Frankenmuth (Xavier)
2007 Corperryale (Manny) Harris, Detroit Redford (Michigan)
2006 David Kool, Grand Rapids South Christian (Western Michigan)
2005 Wilson Chandler, Benton Harbor (De Paul)
2004 Drew Neitzel, Wyoming Park (Michigan State)
2003 Dion Harris, Detroit Redford (Michigan)
2002 Paul Davis, Rochester (Michigan State)
2001 Kelvin Torbert, Flint Northwestern (Michigan State)
2000 Marcus Taylor, Lansing Waverly (Michigan State)
1999 Jason Richardson, Saginaw Arthur Hill (Michigan State)
1998 Dane Fife, Clarkston (Indiana)
1997 Shane Battier, Birmingham Detroit Country Day (Duke)
1996 Winfred Walton, Detroit Pershing (Syracuse, Fresno State)
1995 Robert Traylor, Detroit Murray-Wright (Michigan)
1994 Willie Mitchell, Detroit Pershing (Michigan, UAB)
1993 Jon Garavaglia, Southgate Aquinas (Michigan State)
1992 Kenyon Murray, Battle Creek Central (Iowa)
1991 Chris Webber, Birmingham Detroit Country Day (Michigan)
1990 Anthony Miller, Benton Harbor (Michigan State)
1989 Michael Talley, Detroit Cooley (Michigan)
1988 Matt Steigenga, Grand Rapids South Christian (Michigan State)
1987 Mark Macon, Saginaw Buena Vista (Temple)
1986 Terry Mills, Romulus (Michigan)
1985 Glen Rice, Flint Northwestern (Michigan)
1984 Demetreus Gore, Detroit Chadsey (Pittsburgh)
1983 Antoine Joubert, Detroit Southwestern (Michigan)
1982 Robert Henderson, Lansing Eastern (Michigan)
1981 Sam Vincent, Lansing Eastern (Michigan State)
Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.