Chelsea Freshman Riley Davis at the free throw line (photo by Tressie Davis Photography)
It’s not very often that a freshman player gets the opportunity to show their talent on the Chelsea Girls Varsity basketball team, especially since the team is usually in contention for the SEC Conference championship every year. But Chelsea Head Coach Todd Blomquist believes in her talent enough to where he called the 14-year-old Riley Davis up at the beginning of the season.
“Riley has a tremendous skill set,” Coach Blomquist stated. “She can handle the ball well, shoots it well, and is learning to defend at the varsity level. She has progressed nicely at this level and has the potential to have a very bright future.”
Riley has been playing sports as long as she remembers and she played other sports such as soccer and softball. She also plans on competing in track this spring and looks forward to trying track and competing in the high jump. But her first love always has been basketball.
“I have grown up in a basketball family, but I feel even if I didn’t I would still have a passion for basketball,” Riley stated. “I had a lot of sports choices growing up, and fortunately my parents encouraged me in all ways and let me find my own way. When it comes to basketball, I really like the practices and the game itself, where other sports I didn’t like the practice. In basketball, I enjoy anything that helps me grow as a player whether it’s conditioning, doing drills, or just going to to the gym to shoot.”
The all A 4.0 student still recalls that day when Coach Blomquist approached her to make the big move to the varsity team.
“Coach Blomquist called me out to the track from my freshman fitness class and asked me “You ready to make the jump?”, Riley said explaining that fateful day. “I was very honored but nervous. It was hard to feel anything but nerves at that point. I went back to class and was shaking with energy and adrenaline. I couldn’t keep my mind off it. But I know I would have been more scared if I wasn’t in Chelsea because I knew all the varsity girls.”
Riley is hard not to notice on or off the court with her big smile and her 5 foot 11-inch, and still growing, frame. Riley is a true competitor and has been placed in several clutch situations this season for the Bulldogs and has handled the pressure quite well. Since she is the youngest girl on the team, she wants to work hard and learn. She works hard in practices and she hopes to help the team in any way she can.
“My main goals right now are to work as hard as I can and improve as much as possible,” Riley stated. “I know I have a lot of things to work on so growing as a player is my main focus. I hope to make our team better and someday play basketball in college.”
On many teams in other cities, a freshman wouldn’t be accepted by seniors or varsity players because of egos and attitudes but that isn’t the case at all in Chelsea. The school encourages multiple athletics as well as academics and above all good sportsmanship.
“I feel more accepted than I ever thought I could,” Riley explains. “This group of girls has been incredibly nice and has treated me amazingly. I feel so blessed to be in Chelsea because I know it’s not like this everywhere. I was very nervous coming into the first practice but the team has made me feel right at home from the beginning. Everyone supports everyone and it’s a fun environment to be in.”
Between sports, practices, and keeping up with academics, when Riley does get some free time she likes to spend it being creative and making things. She has always loved art and being active in any way. She really enjoys the outdoors and hiking and spending time with her dogs Lucy, Maizie, and Sophie.
Riley is the daughter of Robert and Tressie Davis. She has an older brother Dom, and younger brother Robby, and younger sister Alex.
(Note: thank you to Tressie Davis Photography for the pictures enclosed in story)