The senior drew interest from multiple East Coast schools
Thunder Ridge High School has its first women’s basketball recruit.
Incoming senior Lauren Davenport signed with Boston University in April upon receiving a full ride offer to the private research university which is a member of the Patriot League and has a 25 percent admittance rate. Davenport, a 5-foot-11 shooting guard, heard from Johns Hopkins, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, NYU, Bucknell and Ivy League schools Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, UPenn and Dartmouth. She visited Columbia and Johns Hopkins last year and Montana and Wyoming more recently, but had to scrap plans for other official visits due to COVID-19.
Instead, she was provided a virtual visit to Boston via a lengthy meeting through the Zoom app. Her entire immediate family joined in, and at the very end of the meeting, Davenport was extended a full ride offer. She did not wait long to give her answer.
“I turned to my mom and she said, ‘You need to take it,’” Davenport said in a phone interview. “Why think about it two times?”
Davenport added that Boston had been in contact with her for quite a while upon seeing film on her and had hoped to watch her play live before COVID-19’s arrival. Even after accepting Boston’s offer, she has continued to hear from recruiters. Davenport said academics has long been a priority because basketball will eventually come to an end, and she plans to pursue a career in business or medicine.
She expressed relief at having made her decision, and also gratitude for being able to pursue both her athletic and academic goals.
“I’m just so grateful that I have this opportunity to go to a great school like that,” Davenport said. “Right now, I’m just so grateful for everything that all my coaches have done for me. I did have breaking points (during the recruiting process). I had a really bad mental game. I pushed past that.”
This past winter, Davenport averaged 13.38 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 74.4 percent from the free throw line. She is playing on a team with Rigby’s Tylie Jones and Brooke Donnelly through the Boise-based Idaho Flash travel program this summer, which resumed practices roughly a month ago and has tournaments scheduled in Salt Lake City and Boise.
Davenport said COVID-19 not only complicated the recruiting process but changed how she has practiced. She also knows what to work on entering her final season at Thunder Ridge, including driving faster off the dribble, passing more and becoming a better teammate.
“COVID really made us show what we truly are as an athlete, what time we’re gonna put into the sport we play,” Davenport said.
Titans coach Jeremy Spencer said Davenport has been much more relaxed since making her college decision, and that approach is carrying over into summer basketball and preparations for her senior year.
“One thing that we’ve talked about a lot is kinda being a player-coach, really help out the younger classmen that look up to her,” Spencer said. “Being more relaxed, that’s what’s gonna make her really dangerous this year.”
Spencer added that this is not only a big moment for Davenport, but for Thunder Ridge, which opened in August 2018.
“You put your time into the academic part of it, your reward is playing basketball,” Spencer said. “It shows these younger athletes that this is attainable. She’s got the complete package. She does everything off the court she needs to do. I’m super proud of Lauren. This is a big dream for her.”