Davis named as preseason All-American

Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey yells directions at her players during the first half of their game against OU. The Lady Bears defeated OU to stay perfect in conference play. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

By Meghan Mitchell, Reporter

At 5-foot-11, generally considered undersized for her position, junior forward Nina Davis towers over her competition in a different sense.

Davis became the fourth Baylor women’s basketball player ever to earn a spot on the preseason Associated Press’ women’s college basketball All-American team on Tuesday.

“Nina didn’t come with high accolades. She’s not going to wow you with a good-looking shot, her height or even her leaping ability,” said head coach Kim Mulkey.

“As you watch Nina play, she just grows on you, and she’ll do things that you’ll just sit there in amazement and go ‘How did she do that?’ Then the game’s over and she’s got a double-double. Nina just consistently finds ways to win basketball games.”

Davis was chosen by a 32-member national media panel. Four others joined Davis on the team, including Connecticut senior forward Brianna Stewart and teammate senior guard Moriah Jefferson, South Carolina senior guard Tiffany Mitchell and Ohio State’s sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell.

Not only is being named in the nation’s starting five a monumental accomplishment for Davis’ personal career, but it is also another milestone reached by the Lady Bears’ program.

Former guard Sophia Young (2005-06) was the first Baylor player to earn the honor.

WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner earned the honor three-times in the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 preseasons.

More recently, former guard Odyssey Sims, currently a WNBA player, was awarded the honor in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Davis, a native of Memphis, Tenn., started her Baylor career under the radar. After establishing herself in the starting lineup during non-conference play, Davis led the Big 12 conference and ranked fifth nationally in field goal percentage (.595). In her breakout rookie season, Davis earned the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award.

Going into her sophomore year, Davis earned several awards, including the Wooden Award and Wade Trophy finalist.

She was also recognized as Big 12 Player of the Year, All-Big 12 first team, Big 12 Most Outstanding Player honoree and made it to 1,000 points in just 58 games.

Davis was also seen at the national level, where she represented the United States and helped capture gold in the 2015 World University Games.

Mulkey said Davis’ track record rightfully warrants a pre-sesaon All-American nod, citing Davis’ consistency as one of her most impressive attributes as a player.

“Nina Davis is deserving of every award that comes her way. She is one of the more humble people you’ll ever meet,” Mulkey said. “Nina lets her basketball skills speak. She very rarely has to talk because she just plays. She is just a success story like none other I’ve ever coached.”