Friday, January 10, 2014

So we don't forget Jasalyn Davis-Denkins scored her 1,000th point for William Penn yesterday

OK I don't do much sports reporting.  OK I don't do any sports reporting.

But ...

Today's WNJ Sports page celebrated Meghan Doohan of Archmere for scoring her 1,000th career point in a game against Concord.  She got the big headline, the photo with the big smile, and the full-length article write-up.

She deserved it.

But so did Jasalyn Davis-Denkins of William Penn High School, who also scored her 1,000th career point in a game against Charter School of Wilmington the same night.  No headline, no photo, and no article.

I wouldn't have known about Davis-Denkins except that my daughter plays for CSW and so I was at the game.  It was an exciting contest that went down to the wire, and I'm sure it put a pallor on her record to lose the game at the buzzer.  But I don't care about that--she deserved the same treatment that Meghan Doohan got.

Some adult--whether at William Penn or at the News Journal--seriously dropped the ball here (pun intended), so in my own way I'll try to even the score (ouch!) with three observations about Ms. Davis-Denkins:

1.  She is an incredibly talented athlete with a college and possibly pro career ahead of her.  I watched her almost casually sink a three-pointer when (a) off-balance; (b) unable to see the basket; and (c) having two of our girls hanging (read uncalled fouls) all over her.

2.  She never stopped competing and coaching her teammates on the floor, even when--in the last 5.6 seconds--it would have taken a miracle to get the ball up the floor and score three points.

3.  She has the class of a true athlete.  With about one minute left, William Penn had to foul to have a chance.  Davis-Denkins leapt out and fouled a much smaller CSW guard.  She pushed her just enough to make contact in front of the official, and then reached out and grabbed her shoulders to make sure she didn't fall.  In so many situations like this I have seen athletes give in to anger or frustration and risk hurting their opponents.  Ms. Davis-Denkins clearly has some perspective on what is worth it and what is not.

I hope that William Penn High School made a big deal of it today for her.

Next year, apparently, she'll be playing for Northeastern University.