August 12, 2020

Ultimate Subaru Spotlight: Stephen Davies

Each month, a UMW Athletics Faculty Liaison will be featured in the Ultimate Subaru Spotlight. The faculty liaison program partners a UMW faculty member with every UMW intercollegiate athletic team to strengthen support networks and increase resources for student-athlete success. Ultimate Subaru is committed to the growth and education of UMW Eagles, their hometown team and strives to foster the same values of community as the UMW Faculty Liaison program. Faculty Liaisons will serve as mentors and role models to student-athletes while being involved in team activities. For more information about the program contact Faculty Athletic Representative Lynne Richardson.

Faculty Liaison Stephen Davies

Stephen Davies

Faculty Liaison’s Name:  Stephen Davies

Sport:  Women’s Basketball

Years at UMW: 10!

Position/Title: Associate Professor of Computer Science

What was your favorite sport growing up? Briefly describe your favorite memory playing or watching it. 

I actually played some basketball myself, since I was fairly tall. I really really sucked at anything involving handling the ball, though – I got super nervous as soon as I had it in my hands, and my turnover percentage was near 100%. My teammates very quickly learned never to pass the ball to me under any circumstances. I was good at defense, though, since I worked hard at it and seemed to care more about it than most other players.

True story: In the practice before the CAC Championship a couple years ago, Coach Applebury had me play some defense against Breezi Comden, Taylor Barton and the other post players. I naively thought I might get a block or two, or at least get a couple of people to change their shots. Instead, they scored 17 times out of 17. I have it on tape somewhere!

Where is your favorite place around town to get a bite to eat? Gotta say I love Miso!

If you could pick one superpower to have, what would it be and why? Invisibility, so I could sneak in and spy on Marymount’s game plans before the big game.

Other than the sport you partnered with, what is your next favorite sport and why?

Any women’s sport. Growing up, like most Americans I was brainwashed somehow into thinking that it was cool to root for men’s sports and lame to root for women’s. The thought process (such as it was) went like this: if the men’s team in any sport played against the women’s team head-to-head, the men’s team would of course win. Therefore (?) one should follow men’s teams, because they were better.

I changed my mind about all of this when I came to UMW and started following Lady Eagles hoops. Now if you want macho, one-on-one athleticism and power dunks, by all means watch the NBA. But the grace, heart, discipline, teamwork, coordination and utterly selfless play of the women’s game takes your breath away. Women have different physical strengths than men, and so the game revolves around different things. To me, it turns out to be more complex and interesting. It is an absolutely beautiful game to watch.

Since then, I’ve noticed this about nearly all women’s sports. Watching Team USA win the World Cup was a blast, as was the gymnastics in the latest Olympics. Ditto softball, volleyball, you name it. It’s the pride and enthusiasm that you see on almost every player’s face: a pure love of the game. It’s dedication to the fundamentals, and a deep study of the strategy, perhaps to compensate for less explosive physical gifts than men. It’s a fierce devotion to their teammates, with almost zero ego. And the depths of emotion – both the highs and lows – are so poignant they’ll make you cry. Those who write off women’s sports are missing more than they’ll ever know.

If you were a Head Coach and could pick three words to motivate your team and hang in their locker room, which words would you choose? Pride. Discipline. Team.

What does a great leader look like to you? A combination of Coach Applebury and point guard Megan Green. Someone with an inspiring vision that others can understand and latch onto; someone with a heart and passion that’s uncontainable; and someone who deeply and genuinely cares about the people they lead becoming their very best. A great leader doesn’t make it about herself; she makes it about those she leads.

What is a must read for UMW Student-Athletes? The Bible.

What is the best advice you have ever heard given to a college graduate? Figure out who you were meant to be, and be that person. Odds are, this will include things that don’t necessarily impress your friends. But don’t waste years of your life trying to be someone you think others want you to be. Even if you succeed, it won’t be worth it.

Finally, if you were hanging out on Ball Circle picking the brains of four professional/famous athletes (living or deceased), who would they be? Terrell Davis, Carli Lloyd, Tony LaRussa, Mia Hamm.

Ultimate Subaru, celebrating 10 years of service to the Fredericksburg community, is proud to be a supporter of UMW athletics. Call Ultimate Subaru today at (540) 898-6200 or come on in and visit us at 5160 Jefferson Davis Highway, near Four Mile Fork. Find us online at www.driveultimatesubaru.com.

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