For many athletes who are cut from a team in college, it marks the end of their career. For sophomore Davina Ward, however, it marked the beginning of her career as the team manager.
After being cut from the women’s basketball team, Ward was asked by head coach Scott Hemer to stay and be the team manager. Ward would prove to be a valuable addition as manager to the team, acting as an integral part of the Geneseo basketball program’s family.
Ward was born in Yonkers and eventually moved to Buffalo. She attended Global Concepts Charter High School, where she was part of the first graduating class. Ward describes herself as a “lazy, but good student,” which is surprising for someone who was the salutatorian of her class.
Ward explained that she kept busy with schoolwork, basketball and volleyball practice in high school and also worked on the weekends. Ward’s start to basketball was rather unexpected for someone who tried out for their college team: she only started in high school because everyone around her encouraged her to do it and because she was tall.
“I really didn’t like it at first. When I was a kid, I was really tall so everyone used to ask me why I didn’t play basketball,” Ward said. “And my response was always, ‘I don’t want to.’ In high school, I started playing because I went to such a small school that there was really no choice but for me to play.”
She added that she began watching videos of Larry Bird in her junior year, which inspired her to work as hard as she could to become a better player.
The Geneseo women’s basketball team is extremely lucky to have a tenacious young woman such as Ward helping them out. She has an outgoing, happy personality that is hard to come by. It is clear that she is very driven with whatever it is she does.
Reinforcing her extroverted persona, Ward explained that one of her favorite activities to do is to approach random people walking around on campus and challenge them to a surprise “dance-off.” She said her most memorable experience was with a student who challenged her to a beat boxing contest instead of a dance-off.
“A friend of mine from the team was there and suggested that he beat boxed while I danced,” Ward said. “So that’s what we did. And for about 30 seconds, we had the best dancing, beat boxing situation ever. I haven’t seen that guy since, but it is my favorite story at Geneseo.”
While she may not be playing for the women’s basketball team here at Geneseo, Ward is still a part of the family and has learned many valuable lessons.
“You have to take pride in whatever you do,” Ward said. “Even though I really only fill water bottles … I am proud to be the manager.”
Ward described her role as manager as “humbling.” Coming from a small town team, she wasn’t prepared for the harsh reality of college varsity sports. Still, she managed to make the most of the situation and explained that she hopes to become a coach one day.