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7th grader Jalen Drayden wears Keith Davis’s USC Rose Bowl Jersey and three National Championship Rings at a presentation former Pro football players Keith (right) and Clarence Lee (left) made to the Bishop Dunne Students Friday.
“Readers become leaders,” is just one of the positive catch phrases the Bishop Dunne student body heard this morning as Keith Davis, a former New York Giants linebacker, talked to them in the Bishop Dunne Gymnasium in his “Just Say YES!” presentation.
Growing up in Los Angeles, his father was a drug dealer and died when he was four. “As a teenager, in the rough inner city, I found out that if I would draw closer to God, God would draw closer to me.”
Davis was offered a scholarship to the University of Southern California, and admits he started at the bottom of his class. “I was a terrible student in high school, and knew I had to apply myself in college academically if I wanted to play ball and eventually graduate.” What he did was more remarkable: he made the Academic All-Conference Team while being designated the “Strongest Linebacker” in the nation at the college level, and graduated with the highest GPA of the USC football team. Awarded Academic Player of the Year, he helped USC win two Rose Bowls and brought his championship rings to Bishop Dunne to allow a young football player a chance to wear them.
Alongside Davis was his friend and former Florida State University stand out Clarence Lee, who held the team’s bench press record and brought them to a national championship. He went on to play in the Arena football for the Kansas Koyotes after college and now helps Davis with his inspirational student presentations.
Freshman Damion Daniels said the presentation taught him to “Think big and dream big. I liked how Mr. Davis carried himself and how he told us to respect ourselves and respect women.”
Classmate Azaria Rogers agreed. “I liked that he told us girls that we are queens and should be treated that way.”
9th grader Cierra Owens felt the same way. “I learned that I am a queen and I don’t deserve to be pushed around or taken advantage of, but that I deserve to be treated with respect.”
The biggest body in the student body, 6’6” 300 lb. senior Joven Pruitt, was called upon to stand up and be counted. “Dare to dream Joven-sized dreams,” Davis said, “little dreams won’t satisfy what God has called you to do.”
7th grader Jalen Drayden was invited to try on Davis’s USC Rose Bowl football jersey, and his national championship rings.
Sara Davis, a high school classmate of Keith’s and the former Women’s Track Coach at Texas A&M Commerce, was also in attendance to encourage women in the audience.
The founder of the Sprinters Elite Track Club, she was involved with teaching young, talented athletes to train and compete at their optimal level. Davis attended college at UCLA, where she was coached by one of the nation's most successful track and field coaches Bob Kersee, and was a teammate to standouts Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Gail Devers and Florence Griffith-Joyner "FloJo." She earned All-American honors in the sprints and was a member of a school record setting relay at UCLA, where she graduated with her bachelor's degree. In addition to her experiences in track and field, Davis is a certified personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
The three scholar athletes were mobbed by both students and faculty for photos at the end of their presentation, a testament to their message of “making good choices, and listening to the right voices,” ringing true to everyone in the audience.
Bishop Dunne has an outstanding record of student athletes being awarded college scholarships. On National Signing Day, six football players and a women’s softball player all signed full four year scholarships with colleges such as Ivy League’s Brown University in Rhode Island, and Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Northern Colorado, and Hardin-Simmons in Abilene.
Information provided by Judy Porter. 
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