Back in April, Lauren Davenport hopped on a Zoom call with officials from Boston University, who were trying to sell Thunder Ridge’s rising senior on the women’s basketball program. COVID-19 was beginning to take hold of the country, so this official visit was virtual for Davenport, a versatile guard who was sorting through a litany of offers.
The call spanned some 2 1/2 hours. Officials showed her the city, the campus, the program, her teammates. In the final minutes, they offered Davenport a scholarship. She turned to her mother, who advised her daughter to accept. She agreed.
“You just get this click in your head,” Davenport said. “You just know it’s where you’re supposed to be.”
She turned back toward the screen.
“I want to go to Boston,” Davenport said.
Seven months later, Wednesday night in Thunder Ridge’s cafeteria, Davenport made her commitment official. She signed her National Letter of Intent with Boston. She will be a Terrier next season.
“I’m mostly excited,” Davenport said, while dozens of family members, friends and coaches chatted over pizza in the background. “But I’m super nervous, too. But I’m going to get ready, and I’m going to get in there. I’m really excited to just be out there and start college.”
This was a long time coming for Davenport, at least over the last couple years. A 5-foot-11 guard, Davenport received interest from Johns Hopkins, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, NYU, Bucknell, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, UPenn and Dartmouth, among others. When she became a junior and assumed the ability to chat with coaches in an official capacity, the offers began to flood in.
First came several Utah schools. Then the others came. Thunder Ridge’s first girls recruit had decisions to make.
“It was crazy,” said Davenport, a two-time all-conference first-team selection who averaged 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game as a junior. “It was wild. The recruiting experience is so fun.”
Still, to make her decision, Davenport had to contemplate academics. She wants to enter the medical field, and she liked Boston’s arts and science’s program, the gateway in.
That made things easier.
“Through that, I know that I’m going to get the best education,” Davenport said. “That was the biggest consideration for me to go to Boston.”
Davenport still has a season to play at Thunder Ridge, though. Basketball commitments are unique that way. The Titans open the season Friday with a road matchup against Bonneville.
That, Davenport admitted, will be strange. She’s signed to play basketball at the college level. To get there, she has to play one more high school season.
“It’s actually really weird,” Davenport said. “I mean, knowing that I still have one lower division level to play — obviously I’m going to do my best. But knowing that I’m going to go do a D-I school after this is weird. And crazy.”