A senior point guard, Davison has been a key cog in Lower Merion’s tough defense that has improved over the first five games for the Aces (5-0 as of Feb. 8). He missed his junior season with an ACL injury. Lower Merion boys’ basketball head coach Gregg Downer said, “Sam is a great defender, a gritty, tough, unselfish player with a strong work ethic who has worked incredibly hard to get back on the court. It’s exciting to see him out there making the most of this opportunity.”
Q: What aspect of your game do you feel you improved the most in the off-season?
A: I feel my decision-making has improved the most this offseason as a passer, as a defender, and as a facilitator. As an underclassman, I would rush into offensive sets and not give my teammates a chance to get set and organized. Now I feel like I’m approaching the game with a greater sense of control and having some good results so far this season.
Q:Tell us a little about your recovery from the injury you suffered in the summer of 2019 that sidelined you last season. What did you find to be the biggest challenge in your rehab, and how did you meet that challenge?
A: My recovery was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. It was nine months of pushing myself to limits of pain and frustration that I didn’t think was possible. My biggest challenge throughout my rehab was staying positive, especially last winter when the team was in season and I wanted to be out there so badly. I focused on getting prepared mentally and physically, and used that as my motivation. I channeled any anger and frustration to go the extra mile in my rehab, whether that was running long distances on a treadmill or working on my agility.
Q: Tell us a little about the biggest challenges you faced in your off-season basketball training because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A: The biggest challenge was getting back into the movements of a basketball game and getting into “basketball” shape. When this season started, it had been almost two years since I had played in a game situation. I hadn’t run up and down the court in competition. When we started back up in November, my lateral movements and conditioning were out of sorts but as time went on, I felt more and more comfortable. I feel stronger, quicker, and tougher now than I did before my injury.
Q: What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: The part of my game that I’m working on most right now is trying to fight through contact while taking the ball up the court. I know the referees aren’t always going to bail me out in tough situations and I know I have to be strong with the ball and take my time.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in competitive basketball. Who have been your most important basketball mentors; and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?
A: I started competitive basketball in second grade in a local rec league. I fell in love with the competitive nature of basketball. I loved being around a basketball and loved to play the game with and against other people. My most important basketball mentor is my dad because in second grade, he taught me the basic fundamentals. He coached my team in multiple leagues for five or six years, and the drills and skills he taught have contributed to my play, especially my defense. I remember as a little kid, my dad would always be on me after every game about getting low on defense and getting into the opposition’s stomach. I think this is what made me want to be such a strong defender over the years.
Q: Who is your favorite basketball player, and why?
A: My favorite basketball player is T.J. McConnell because he is a guy who is a bit undersized for playing in the NBA, but he knows his role and he has mastered what he does. He is an absolute annoyance to his opponent when he picks up full court constantly. Personally, I love it! McConnell is one of those guys where you hate playing against him, but you love it when he’s on your team.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation on the day of a game.
A: For away games, on the bus ride I sit in my seat and think about the game, what my role is, and how we are going to walk away with a win. I am locked in about 90 minutes before tipoff. Usually, an hour or so before tipoff, I get a great 20 minute stretch in with the team before our brief pregame meeting. For home games it’s not much different. We usually have a team shootaround a couple hours before the game. I get shots up, envisioning what they’ll be like in the game. On game day, my mind is solely focused on basketball and the win.
Q: What is your favorite academic course at Lower Merion? What do you think you’d like to major in at college? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My favorite course at Lower Merion is Statistics. I might want to major in either Business or Statistics but I have plenty of time to decide. The career field that intrigues me is some type of Management because I am very organized and like to handle large amounts of work.
Fun facts – Sam Davison
Favorite book: When The Game Was Ours.
Favorite TV show: The Office.
Favorite movie: My Cousin Vinny.
Favorite athlete: Usain Bolt.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Do What I Want – Lil Uzi Vert.
Favorite team: Philadelphia 76ers.
Favorite place to visit: Los Angeles.
Family members: parents Josh and Robin, sister Shaine, brother Derek.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)