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Calumet's Da'Vion Davis will continue career at IUSB, despite missing senior season
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Calumet's Da'Vion Davis will continue career at IUSB, despite missing senior season

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Da'Vion Davis, Calumet, basketball (IUSB feature)

Calumet guard Da'Vion Davis missed his entire senior season due to a left hip labral tear but will continue his career at Indiana University South Bend.

Da’Vion Davis missed his entire senior season due to an injury, but his basketball career is not over.

With the help of Calumet coach Dominique Nelson and eye-popping game film from a stellar junior year, the 5-foot-10 guard was still able to garner the attention of a few college programs.

Davis committed to Indiana South Bend in February, just over a month after undergoing leg surgery. The Titans offered him a partial scholarship, and the senior said he is thrilled to join the NAIA program.

“I’m pretty excited because once college comes, I know I’m going to be ready to play,” Davis said. “I’m going to be 100% and well-rested, so I just can’t wait to show — at the collegiate level — what everybody missed out on my senior year.”

The Warriors’ star guard suffered a left hip labral tear prior to the season and was reduced to being a spectator for his senior campaign.

Calumet's standout senior Davis out for season with hip labral tear

While grappling with his own unfortunate situation, Davis never pouted or gave up on his teammates. But in his squad's biggest game of the year, he couldn’t help but wonder if the Class 3A Hammond Sectional championship may have gone differently if he was on the court.

“It ate me alive,” Davis said. “It ate me alive.”

The host Wildcats rolled to a 70-46 victory over Calumet, clinching their third straight sectional title, and simultaneously put an end to Davis’ prep career. He will leave the Warriors as their second all-time leading scorer and was just 59 points away from reaching the 1,000-point plateau.

Nelson said that he felt for Davis because he knew the senior was about to put the entire Region on notice this season — even more so than the year before. During his junior campaign, Davis averaged a team-high 20.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game and posted five 30-point performances. He also shot 47.3% from the field and 37.7% from behind the arc.

The dynamic guard’s offensive expertise helped Calumet reestablish its program with a sectional championship in 2018 — its first in 18 seasons — and a Greater South Shore Conference title the following year. Nelson said he will never forget what Davis meant to his team and added that no one is more deserving of an opportunity to play the next level.

“The (college) coaches were asking me, ‘Will he be patient with his injury?’” Nelson said. “That was a big question, and he’s dealt with his injury well. … In his visits, when coaches talked to him and got to know who he was, they realized that Da’Vion is a basketball aficionado, junkie or whatever you want to call it.”

Calumet's Dominique Nelson is The Times Coach of the Year (IUSB feature)

Calumet coach Dominique Nelson is confident that senior guard Da'Vion Davis will excel at Indiana University South Bend.

Davis is in the third phase of a five-phase rehabilitation process and will be fully healthy by the start of his first college season. He attends Methodist Hospitals Rehabilitation Services in Merrillville five days a week to strengthen his left leg and has started to regain his range of motion. The progress since his operation on Jan. 16 has been gradual and hard to even see at times, but he said he’s leaned on his family and specifically his uncle for support.

“He’s stayed with me through tough times and dark times,” Davis said of his relationship with Nate Winston. “He’s been here since Day 1. The day after surgery, the day before surgery — he was there.”

Da'Vion Davis and Nate Winston -- Calumet

Calumet senior guard Da'Vion Davis said his uncle, Nate Winston, has been one of his biggest supporters throughout his life and basketball career.

Winston has been cheering his nephew on ever since he started playing basketball as a child. He was truly looking forward to Davis’ senior year with the Warriors because it was the last time he'd be able to see him play regularly. However, Winston has already made plans to watch his nephew in IUSB’s season opener in October.

“If I’m still walking this planet, I’ll be at his first game. You can believe that,” Winston said with a laugh. “It’s only a train ride to South Bend, and I’m going to come to as many of his games as possible. … I try to support him every chance I get. During his high school career and junior high, I probably missed maybe eight games.”

The Titans finished their season 25-8 and clinched their first Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in school history. Davis believes he will only add to the program's recent success and thrive in the team’s free-flowing offense, which is very similar to Calumet's system.

Da'Vion Davis, Calumet

Calumet's Da'Vion Davis, right, drives to the basket during a game earlier in his career. The Warriors senior missed his final season due to an injury but will play in college at Indiana University South Bend.

Regardless of not being able to contribute throughout his final prep season, Davis said he is extremely thankful that Nelson still helped him find somewhere to continue his athletic career. The senior believes his high school coach is one of the most down-to-earth people he’s ever met, and Davis is certain that the lessons he learned from Nelson will always stick with him.

“He treats you more like a son than a player,” Davis said. “I’m really grateful that I had coach Nelson in my life. He made a big impact.”

Gallery: The Times Athletes of the Week

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Lake County Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.

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