Blake Davis: Chasing A Dream
Published 11:00 am Friday, January 25, 2019
Nearly 2,755 miles separate Blake Davis from the first step in his pursuit of a life-long dream. Born in Corbin and raised in Middlesboro, Davis has always wanted to be a basketball player on the biggest of stages.
In December, Davis received an offer from a team in Central America for $120,000 per year, and he accepted the offer.
“I started playing basketball and taking it more seriously in about sixth grade,” Davis said. “I played a lot of pick-up ball and stuff like that when I was even younger, but I started to really take it seriously around sixth grade. If we had practice, I played in any pick-up games or played in any organized games. I would take them extremely seriously — all business.”
Davis says that Middlesboro is where his big dreams all began.
“Me and all my friends were always outside playing basketball,” he said. “It became a passion to me as I grew older, and I just stayed with it. I’d say I used to have a basketball in my hand at least 12 out of every 24 hours for years and years growing up. Eventually people started coming up to me and comparing me to a few guys I used to look up to, and that made me want to work even harder.
“I started working on the finer parts of my game to try to separate myself from everyone else. I worked every single day on ball-handling, reaction time and my passing. I’ve always wanted to be one of those point guards that guys love to have on their team because of their play-making ability; I want to make everyone around me better.”
Davis still bleeds yellow and black.
“I’ll never forget winning the first All “A” regional tournament for Middlesboro back in 2013,” Davis said, “That’s probably my favorite sports memory. Even though we went out in the first round of the All ‘A’ State tournament, it was still one of the best experiences of my life. From my sophomore year to my junior year, we improved dramatically. We went from three wins to over 20 wins.”
Davis attributes former coaches with his development as an athlete and a person.
“I remember when coach Chuck Treece used to make me dribble up steps when I said any curse words or anything. He had me doing all kinds of stuff, but it helped me developed principles as well as my ability to handle the ball. He and coach Shane Shackleford really molded me into who I am as an athlete.”
Davis says his family and friends are surprised, but extremely supportive.
“Who would have ever thought that someone from Middlesboro that works a factory job would get an opportunity to play basketball in a foreign country? All I ever want to do with my life is be able to take care of my family and make them proud of me. I do everything for them.”
Davis is already getting used to the spotlight. As a stand-out for the Blue Grass Bulls in a high level semi-pro league, Davis has already garnered attention from fans and organizations alike.
“I remember after a game one time, a few little kids came up to me and asked me for my autograph. It was an extremely humbling experience and made me want to work even harder,” Davis said.
Based on his popularity, one of the team’s managers extended an invitation to Davis to be the face of his sports apparel brand, UpTempo Sports.
“I felt blessed that someone would want me to represent them in any way,” said Davis. “I love to represent where I’m from by being the best I can be. Now I get to represent a business in the same way.”
Although he’s eager to depart and get started on his dream, Davis will have a hard time leaving his family and his home.
“I’ve never been too far from home. It’ll be strange, but knowing they’re back home supporting me, I know that I can do this,” Davis said. “I just want to represent my family and where I’m from in the best way I can. I couldn’t be more excited to get started on something I’ve wanted for so long. I’m ready.”
Davis is set to depart for El Salvador on Feb. 20.