ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Kelvin Davis, a senior at San
Diego Sate University, has been selected as the 2009 recipient of
the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Most Courageous Award.
Davis will be honored at the USBWA's Awards Breakfast Monday,
April 6 at the Renaissance Marriott in downtown Detroit. In addition,
he will be the recipient of a $1,000 check, which he will donate
to the charity or scholarship fund of his choice.
"I'm humbled to have been selected for this honor," said Davis,
who has appeared in eight games this season for the Aztecs and has
averaged 2.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 10.4 minutes. "I want to
thank the USBWA for recognizing me and the Aztec basketball program."
San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher said, "He is a great
example of what a person should be. He's been through a rough stretch
but there was never a whimper out of Kelvin. He's out there every
day, working hard. He's an inspiration to all of us."
A 6-3 shooting guard from Waterbury, Conn., Davis was diagnosed
with Hodgkin's lymphoma last spring. However, he was able to overcome
the cancer and returned to the Aztecs while still undergoing his
chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Davis' saga began last spring when he felt fatigued while playing.
Originally, it was thought he may be coming down with mononucleosis.
However, there was a lump developing on Davis' neck. He knew about
it but he didn't say anything because he didn't want to jeopardize
his spot on the team.
But his condition grew worse and a trip to the doctor revealed
Davis had cancer. He underwent a series of 12 chemotherapy treatments
over a five-month span. He was still undergoing his treatment when
fall practice began and it wasn't unusual to see Davis arrive straight
from the doctor to the practice gym and spend the last 20 minutes
"I never felt sorry for myself because I'd see people who were
a whole lot worse than me," Davis said. "Plus, the doctors said
I had a good chance to beat it."
Davis originally started his college career at Texas-El Paso,
then transferred to College of Southern Idaho before moving on to
San Diego State in 2007. He appeared in 18 games during the 2007-08
season, averaging 5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds.
He was expected to see more minutes as a senior before he took
ill late last spring. He is contemplating petitioning the NCAA for
a sixth year of eligibility.
The Most Courageous Award was established in 1978 and has been
given annually to a player, coach, official or administrator who
has demonstrated extraordinary courage reflecting honor in the sport
of amateur basketball.
Among the more notable recipients over the years have been Jacksonville
coach Bob Wenzel, Arizona guard Steve Kerr, Indiana forward Landon
Turner, referee Pete Pavia, North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano,
Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, the 2001 Oklahoma State basketball
team and the 2007 Duquesne basketball team.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at
the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today,
it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball.
For more information on the USBWA and its awards, contact executive
director Joe Mitch at 314-421-0339.
• USBWA Most Courageous