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For the love of their game

Antoine Davis: Why I moved to Detroit

On October 16, 2019

BY ANTOINE DAVIS

VN SPECIAL WRITER

I frequently get asked, “Why did you move to Detroit?” or “Why did you choose to go to Detroit Mercy?” – especially when someone sees my Texas driver’s license.

At times, I would like to reply with a question. Something like, where would you like for me to start?

I would begin with the move to Houston, Texas, from Birmingham, Alabama, when I was in seventh grade.

My dad had been let go at the University of Alabama – Birmingham in March 2012. Later that year, he was named the next men’s head basketball coach at Texas Southern University.

I was nervous about moving because we had lived in Alabama for six years. I had made many new friends and was not excited about starting over.

Once we got to Texas, my mom was not enthused about enrolling me in school in Houston. She did some research and decided that homeschooling would be the best option.

My dad was excited because this meant I could get more specialized training in basketball. He did his research and discovered that former NBA professional basketball player and coach John Lucas Jr. trained athletes of all ages in a local gym.

This was a pivotal point in my life, both academically and athletically.

Academically, I was repeating the seventh grade with my mom and never going back to a classroom again – until college.

Athletically, I was being challenged on an entirely new level.

My mom I could handle because I was used to her.

John Lucas was a totally different matter.

He was tough and demanding.

Despite all of this, my love for the game began to develop along with my skills.

For five years, my life consisted of homeschooling with my mom and basketball training with coach Lucas.

My dad also trained me when I traveled with his teams at Texas Southern over the years.

This brings me to my first encounter with Detroit Mercy.

Texas Southern was scheduled to play Oakland University on Nov. 30, 2017.

I made the trip with the team as I had since seventh grade.

The night before the game, we pulled up to the gated campus of Detroit Mercy to practice.

I had no idea at the time that I would be attending the school and playing in Calihan Hall a year later.

Already, I had committed to play at the University of Houston under coach Kelvin Sampson.

Funny thing, though, the Calihan court was good to me that night in shoot around, and I shot the ball extremely well.

Fast forward to June 2018 when my dad decided to make a change.

He accepted the position of head men’s basketball coach at Detroit Mercy.

After some soul searching, I decided to follow him here.

And the rest, as they say, is history – or will be.

The author plays for the Titans men’s basketball team.

 

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