Student-Athlete: From the court to the writing pad

From left to right, Zach Herman, Brandon McNeill, Jess Hefferon and Noah Davis all group together in the parlors to witness Davis's honors capstone project titled, "Poetry of Place: Appalachian Literature and Bioregionalism." Photo courtesy of N.Davis.

From left to right, Zach Herman, Brandon McNeill, Jess Hefferon and Noah Davis all group together in the parlors to witness Davis’s honors capstone project titled, “Poetry of Place: Appalachian Literature and Bioregionalism.” Photo courtesy of N.Davis.

“A true Griffin means to be an involved individual striving to keep the ideas of Elizabeth Ann Seton alive so as to solve the problems of the world ahead,” said Noah Davis.

The “student-athlete” often times is misunderstood as a stereotypical term for an athlete who puts his or her sport of choice first before his or her academic studies. Though this can be true for some student-athletes, not all follow this clichéd generalization. For senior English literature major Noah Davis, finding the importance of academics is something that is not difficult at all but rather natural.

Davis is a one of a kind athlete that is rare to find. He is not only one of the two male student-athletes in the English program at Seton Hill University (SHU), but also is certified in secondary education and a part of the honors program with a 3.9 cumulative GPA. In addition, Davis is a standout player on the basketball court as a power forward for the Griffin men’s basketball team.

Roommate and teammate for four years, Zach Herman, said, “He’s my best friend on the hill. It’d be so different without Noah, we’ve grown close. I’ve been lucky to have him as a friend and I know our friendship will continue post graduation.” He said, “Noah’s dedicated to basketball, he’s a great player. The season’s full of ups and downs, and we’ve always helped each other through the highs and lows.”

Poem by N.Davis.

Poem by N.Davis.

When Davis is not shooting jumpers in the gym or boxing defenders out under the net, one can find him in a quiet place reading or writing his favorite genre of literature.

“I have always had a passion for poetry. I grew up listening and reading poetry so it’s always been apart of how I experience the world,” said Davis. “Trying to pick the right word, cadence or line break to fit an event or emotion is a task I will never get tired of.”

Davis has published two poems throughout his academic career. His poem titled “Stains” made the Pittsburgh Poetry Review and “First Memory of Water” was forthcoming in The Hollins Critic.

But the success does not end here; Davis also was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes for his poetry “Mending,” and “Saint Francis.”

“That was probably my proudest accomplishment so far in my career; it shows me that I am clearly doing something right along the lines of poetry,” said Davis.

A professor of Davis’ along his academic career at SHU who has witnessed his growth is Christine Cusick, associate professor of English and composition. “What I admire most about Noah is his intrinsic motivation. He pursues excellence not so that he can gain external rewards, but so that he can make the most of his gifts and opportunities. He brings a generous and authentic curiosity to all that he does, and it has been my honor to watch this energy result in growth, achievement, and care for our community.”

Davis, who was named last week's Dino's Athlete of the Week, dribbles up the court. Hard work has expanded his talents to be able to do so. #21's favorite sports team is the defending National Champions of the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and his favorite player is Kevin Love. Photo courtesy of D.Clark/Setonian.

Davis, who was named last week’s Dino’s Athlete of the Week, dribbles up the court. Hard work has expanded his talents to be able to do so. #21’s favorite sports team is the defending National Champions of the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and his favorite player is Kevin Love. Photo courtesy of D.Clark/Setonian.

Crossing over to the court, Davis is a standout player offensively and defensively. Currently a three-year starter, Davis has earned many credentials. He has received PSAC Scholar Student Athlete for three years in a row and is looking to earn it again this year. He also was recognized on the Capital One Academic All District Team last year. Not to mention, he was noticed as Preseason All PSAC for this upcoming senior season.

The most memorable basketball experience in his collegiate career came last season as Davis said, “When we beat IUP at home right before playoffs in the last game of the season. The wild atmosphere was breathtaking and them being the number one team in the PSAC made the upset feel even better.”

With practice and homework everyday, the student-athlete lifestyle is not always a smooth ride. Adding in extra curricular activities on top of that workload makes the road even rougher. But for Davis, who is also the treasurer for the English Club and men’s basketball representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, he accepts the challenge and feels that it will benefit him in the near future.

“Noah is what every student athlete should be, outstanding in all areas of life,” said Tony Morocco, 14 year men’s basketball head coach. “Character communicates consistency, character communicates potential, character communicates respect and that’s Noah Davis.”

Poem by N.Davis.

Poem by N.Davis.

Complementing his already well-established resume, Davis was awarded as the 2016 Homecoming King. This award recognizes a male leader at SHU who represents the university in a positive light, which is voted by students and faculty.

“That was a fun and great experience to say the least; everyone on the court were great people. It was a good feeling to have people in the Seton Hill community honor you of such an award,” said Davis.

Davis plans to apply all over the country for the best possible Master of Fine Arts program that pertains to his interests. However, he will look forward to teaching English in a local high school for a year to build his resume.

As for basketball, after it is all said and done, his love for the sport will never die down. With his final season in the palm of his hands, Davis’ main goal for his final ride is simple.

A favorite hobby of Davis's is fly fishing. Here he holds a brown trout that he caught in Little Juniata River in 2015. He dreams to one day reside either in Vermont, because the outdoor community is very rural and the scenery is beautiful, or Bellwood, Pa. simply because that is where home is and where he grew up all his life. Photo courtesy of N.Davis.

A favorite hobby of Davis’s is fly fishing. Here he holds a brown trout that he caught in Little Juniata River in 2015. He dreams to one day reside either in Vermont, because the outdoor community is very rural and the scenery is beautiful, or Bellwood, Pa. simply because that is where home is and where he grew up all his life. Photo courtesy of N.Davis.

“I want to be playoff contenders for sure, and have a winning record. But in order to do so, we must make sure that we are playing everyday to our full potential, never letting an opportunity slip away from our reach, because before you never know when it will be your last shot, dribble, lay-up, block, dunk or even steal,” said Davis.

Davis hopes to pass down the torch to his younger brother and teammate Nathan Davis, and other upcoming freshmen student-athletes at SHU who are beginning their college journey.

“My advice for future Griffins enrolling to SHU is to put yourself in many situations where you can grow as a student, athlete and overall as a person. These years go by fast so it is key to make a foundation for yourself and many connections along the way,” said Davis.

The Griffin men’s basketball team currently has a 4-2 regular season record as they await Millersville University Saturday, Dec. 3 at home in McKenna Gym.

 

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