Mo'ne Davis became a household name after befuddling the boys and dazzling all of
us in the Little League World Series. We all became big fans of her because of her
guts, guile, and remarkable talent.
However, Davis made sure she didn't become yesterday's new when she used ESPN,
the worldwide leader in sports and the world's greatest hype machine to launch her
star into orbit.
"I want to go to UConn and be the point guard on the basketball team. That's like my
dream and then go into the WNBA," she said. "That's for Geno. Geno has to know."
Geno Auriemma heard it loud and clear. The legendary coach fell all over himself and
called Davis to say congratulate her, which subsequently landed him in a bit of trouble
with the NCAA. The sanctioning body of college sports and stupid rules, called out
UConn and handed the greatest women's basketball program in the country a secondary
infraction for Auriemma's call to Davis.
It's a slap on the wrist for UConn and more attention for Davis, who is guaranteed to
stay in the spotlight for a very long time. She is like Richard Sherman with a pink backpack
and Lolo Jones with real talent. In this twitter-crazed, media-driven world, Davis knows
how to use it to build her brand, even though she's just 13-years old. Need more proof?
When asked about her SI cover shot, she responded: "Now, it's baseball. Next, hopefully,
it will be me in a UConn jersey." Wow. She is a PR machine. Perhaps that's what she
learned from watching ESPN all day long. Maybe it's growing up in the Facebook world
where we've all become shameless in our self-promotion. Good for her.
Whenever Mo'ne Davis takes the basketball court this fall, I'm sure there will be twitter
updates on every basket she makes or no-look pass she completes. ESPN might even
have video of her and put her in "Today's best" or "Top 10 plays of the day."
Mo'ne Davis is a bona-fide celebrity and that's a great thing. She is a trailblazer and has
opened a lot of doors to bigger dreams for little girls everywhere. Davis has sent a
message to all those girl athletes who have been told, "No way" that yes, it can be done.
She is a star.
Davis is young, beautiful, talented, intelligent, really intelligent. Good for her. She is
creating her own path and following her dreams. Genius, pure genius.