Monday, 10 December 2012

The triumph of courage JERMAREO DAVIDSON

Jermareo Davidson

Full Name: Jermareo B. Davidson

Position: Forward

Height/Weight: 6-10 / 230

Birthdate: November 15, 1984 (Atlanta)

High School: Wheeler HS (Marietta, Ga.)

College: Alabama


From the suburbs of Atlanta where he attended high school at Joseph Wheeler’s in Marietta, Georgia to the south of Turkey where he currently plays for Antalya the life of Jermareo Davidson has been a big roller-coaster full of emotions. Life itself doesn’t stop for anyone. Trust me, he has learned it the hard way.

Playing for Wheeler Hs encouraged by his elder brother was rewarded with a couple of state championships where he used to put monstrous numbers like the game when he had a triple double of 34 points, 15 boards and 14 blocks. This certainly raised interest of a few universities but the decision was made and Jermareo ended up four and half hours away from his native Atlanta in the University of Alabama.


As a freshman (2003-04) averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 23.2 minutes a contest. Ranked fourth in the SEC in blocked shots (1.4 bpg). Started 28 of 33 games. Scored in double figures four times. Recorded a season-high 15 points and added eight rebounds at Auburn. Grabbed a season-high ten rebounds in games vs. Pittsburgh and at Kentucky. Narrowly missed a double-double with ten points and nine rebounds vs. Mercer. Still a raw product.
Lost to eventual champions Connecticut in the Regional Final just one game shy of NCAA Final Four.


His sophomore season (2004-05) continued to show improvement averaging  7.6 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds (ranked fifth in the SEC). Started all 32 games. Scored in double figures seven times. Registered five double-doubles. Registered a season-high 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds at Charlotte. Matched season-high of 21 points at Vanderbilt. Pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds twice in games vs. Auburn and Tennessee. Recorded a double-double of ten points and 11 rebounds in the second round of the SEC Tournament vs. Florida.


As Junior (2005-06) he established himself as the leader of the team leading them in rebounding (8.9 rpg, third in the SEC) and ranked second on the team in scoring (14.3 ppg, tenth)
Also ranked fifth in the league in blocked shots (1.9 bpg). Started all 31 games. Posted 12 double-doubles. Scored season-high 28 points vs. Kentucky. Scored 17 points and pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds vs. Memphis. Posted 21 points and ten rebounds vs. Vanderbilt. Notched 25 points and nine rebounds vs. Ole Miss. Registered 21 points and 12 rebounds vs. Marquette in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He did show as an early entry for the draft but at the last minute he pulled off and decided to finish his college career.


 Tragedy strucks (extracted from an SI article)

Davidson's "reality" lies in two personal tragedies near the beginning of his senior season at Alabama. He and his girlfriend and schoolmate, Nicole Murphy, were in a car accident in November 2006, as they drove from Atlanta, where they visited his older brother, Dewayne Watkins, who had been shot and hospitalized with critical injuries.


Entering the season, Davidson was a preseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award for the country's top college basketball player. Since his brother's shooting three days before the Tide's season opener against Jackson State, his personal life has been marred by tragedy. Davidson learned of his brother's death upon returning to Tuscaloosa after the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide beat North Carolina State 82-75.

On Nov. 7, just three nights before the start of a senior season that Davidson, one of the nation's leading big men, hoped would lead him to the Final Four and the NBA, his brother, Dewayne Watkins, was shot in the neck by an unknown assailant in Norcross, an Atlanta suburb.He had been paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator since the shooting.

Four days later Davidson and his girlfriend, Nikki Murphy, visited Watkins at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. That night, as they returned to Tuscaloosa, Nikki, who was driving Davidson's SUV, lost control as she swerved to avoid another car on Interstate 20. The vehicle flipped several times before landing on its roof.

Davidson, who says he was wearing his seatbelt, walked away unharmed, but Murphy was thrown from the vehicle and died several hours later--in the same hospital where Watkins would die on Dec. 20. Davidson is still coming to terms with the two tragedies. "I have my tough moments, like right before we go on the court, but I'm able to move it to the side until later," he says. "The times I break down are when I'm alone, just sitting at home in front of the computer."

Some of Jermareo's passion for the game came from Dewayne, who was five years his senior and a point guard in high school. Growing up in the Capitol View neighborhood of Atlanta, the boys would play ball nonstop on the goal Madonna had set up in the backyard. "I have thousands of memories [of my brother]," says Davidson, smiling. "The last Thanksgiving that I went home, he cooked for me and [teammate] Alonzo Gee." Turkey, collard greens, mac and cheese; it was a perfect holiday spread from the guy who called his younger brother Jay-O. "Whenever he came into the gym, I knew he was there," says Davidson. "That always got me hyped."

On Nov. 7 Davidson got a call from a family friend: Dewayne had been shot in an Atlanta suburb. The first person Davidson contacted was Nikki, whom he had met in a health class when they were freshmen. A student athletic trainer for the women's team, Nikki hoped to work in the NBA or WNBA one day. She more than anyone encouraged Davidson to be serious about school. "She said we couldn't have a future unless I graduated," he says. They kept their relationship secret because her job prohibited her from dating athletes, so they called each other cousins. ("What's up, cuz?" he'd say in front of her friends. "You calling Grandma tonight?") Only recently had they started using the terms boyfriend and girlfriend, and every Thursday they would go bowling together.

"My brother's been shot," he told her that night. "Can you ride with me to Atlanta?"
"I'm already packing," she replied.
They visited Watkins, who was paralyzed and on a ventilator, and returned to Tuscaloosa for Davidson's season opener three days later. After the Tide's 96--65 win over Jackson State, they drove back to Atlanta and saw Watkins again the next morning. Davidson says he won't forget the haunting details of their drive home that night. The song playing on the stereo ( Beyonce's Irreplaceable). Nikki's scream ("Baby!") as she swerved off the expressway, losing control of Davidson's blue 1998 Ford Explorer. And, not least, his pleas as he crouched down next to Nikki on the asphalt and waited for an ambulance: I love you ... keep breathing ... I love you ... keep breathing.
Davidson, riding in the ambulance with Nikki, returned to Grady Memorial. As Nikki underwent emergency surgery, Davidson waited to have his back examined. "They gave me some medicine, I think to put me asleep," he says. "When they woke me, they told me that Nikki had passed." Brandy Nicole Murphy was 21 years old.

At Alabama, Davidson was called courageous for having the strength to keep playing ball, and he said the game has been his therapy, though he gave thanks on Tuesday to those he has relied on, including his mother, sister, girlfriend's mother, various friends and college teammates.

Dewayne Watkins, the brother of University of Alabama senior center Jermareo Davidson, died on the 20th  at an Atlanta hospital. Watkins had been critically ill since November 7. Davidson learned of his brother's death when he returned to Tuscaloosa shortly before midnight from the Crimson Tide's flight back from a game at N.C. State.

Davidson is still mourning the death of his girlfriend and fellow University of Alabama student, Nikki Murphy.

The way Davidson sees it, basketball is more valuable therapy than just about anything else he's tried. At the suggestion of his coaches, his mother and the team chaplain, Kelvin Croom, he met with two grief counselors, neither of whom he has visited since. "It just made me sad all over again," he says. Some of his inspiring conversations, he says, have been with Nikki's mother, Edwina Murphy. "She knew how serious we were," Davidson says.

"I'm still struggling," Davidson says, "but I've been able to live through basketball because both Nikki and Dewayne supported that part of my life." Davidson honors his girlfriend and his brother during games, forming a "B" sign with his hands for Brandy and pounding his fist against his chest, where he has a tattoo of Dewayne's face, before shooting free throws. (Another tattoo, on his right forearm, depicts Nikki as an angel in flight.)

How has Davidson found the strength to play basketball? How has he stood up to the pain? Perhaps the answer lies in the scene that took place on Dec. 28, during his brother's funeral at the Capitol View United Methodist Church in Atlanta. The night before, he had stunned his mother by telling her he wanted to be baptized in the church that he and Dewayne attended as children. So after giving his eulogy, Pastor Otis Pickett asked the congregation if anyone wanted to be saved. Davidson came forward. "It really was a powerful moment for every one of us who was there to witness it," says Croom, the brother of Mississippi State football coach Sylvester Croom.

And so, in a church that was filled to capacity, a grieving giant kneeled on a pillow, asked for forgiveness and gave his life to the Lord. Afterward, nobody could tell whether it was holy water or tears running down Jermareo Davidson's face.

Senior (2006-07): Ranked second on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg, ranked seventh in the SEC). Also ranked third in the league in blocked shots (2.3 bpg). Started all 30 games. Posted 11 double-doubles. Recorded a career-high 31 points to go along with eight rebounds vs. LSU. Blocked five or more shots five times, including a career-high nine blocks vs. Southern Miss and eight blocks vs. Texas Southern. Grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds at Tennessee. Registered 18 points and 11 rebounds at Auburn. Posted a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds vs. Mississippi State.




College Highlights

Earned Second Team All-SEC honors from the league coaches and honorable mention All-Conference honor from the Associated Press as a senior. Named First Team All-SEC from the league coaches and honorable mention All-Conference by the Associated Press as a junior. Selected Third Team All-SEC by the Associated Press as a sophomore. Finished collegiate career as Alabama’s 19th all-time leading scorer with 1,268 points. Also ranks fourth in blocked shots (221) and tenth in rebounds (918)



The Golden State Warriors selected him in the NBA draft with the 36th overall pick (2nd round) of the 2007 draft but that same night he was sent to the Charlotte Bobcats in a trade involving Jason Richardson.

In Charlotte he alternated the nba with the D-League playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce where he played 6 games averaging 31.2 minutes, 18 points, 9 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1 block while shooting 47.8% from the floor and 73.3% at the line.

His nba debut was (6/11/07)  playing 17 minutes against Phoenix Suns scoring 6 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and adding two blocks, not a bad start. He ended up playing a total of 38 games (2 starts) for the Bobcats averaging 8.5min, 3.2 pts, 1.6 reb, 40% in FG and 64% FT.
His team high were: 9pts-7reb-3asi-2blk-20min
Released by the Bobcats after the Summer League where he was showing really good skills and putting up good numbers, landed in the Idaho Stampede of the D-League where he played 15 games averaging 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting over 52% FG.

In January the same Golden State Warriors which have picked him in the nba draft just a season ago offered him a 10 day contract initially and then signed him for the remainder of the season 2008/09. He made his debut playing four minutes against the Blazers. Played 14 games in total with the Warriors averaging 7.9 minutes, 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds. His best game with the Warriors uniform and best nba performarce so far occurred on the 6th March 2009 when he set up a career high in minutes played (33), points (11), rebounds (10), FGA/FGC (5/10) and 1 block.

He was back in the Warriors roster for the 2009 Summer League in July but things didn’t go according to plan and for one reason or the other he couldn’t perform in a way to convince the GSW to offer him a deal for the upcoming season 2009/10. Once again the Summer League and training camp were the last hurdle he couldn’t overcame to get an nba contract.


Europe here I come

The European adventure started in Turkey first with a small team in the second tier of Turkey basketball  playing 3 games averaging 27 minutes, 14.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.3 blocks shooting 49% FG and 73% FT. After that he signed for Darussafak  where he played 30 minutes with 15.9 points and led the league in rebounding with 10.9 per game.

The summer of 2010 started with Davidson signing for Caciques de Humacao in Puerto Rico where he only played two games. 20 minutes, 15 points, 4 rebounds and two blocks were his total tally in the land that saw Piculin Ortiz grow up.

Back to the US to the Idaho Stampede (D-League) where he will spend the season 2010-11 playing a total of 30 games and once again putting up more than decent numbers ( 15.3 points and 10.3 boards)

in a team featuring Antoine Walker. In the same season he also played in Russia for BC Samara a total of 11 games between the SPL and the Eurocup Challenge with 17 minutes of action, 8 points and 4 rebounds per game.

Once again at the end of the season changes had to be made and this time Germany was the country of selection. The team, Skyliners Frankfurt also playing the Eurocup Challenge. What a fantastic season, domestically he

managed to become the leader of a doomed team which finished at the bottom of the table averaging 17 points and more than 9 rebounds. In only six games at the Eurocup he was as effective with 12.5 points and 8.2 rebounds a game.

Just recently he signed again a contract in Turkey with Antalya where the day before yesterday made his debut against Besiktas playing 32 minutes, scoring 33 points (14-20FG) grabbing 7 rebounds and blocking one shot. What a ride it has been until this point...

Some of you might know him as an upcoming hip-hop artist by the name of JAYO, some of his amazing work here.

For what’s worth, you are a true inspiration, no matter how hard life hits you, you always hit back! REspect


1 comment:

  1. He used to come to TGI Friday's quite a lot, back when he was playing for Darrusafaka of Istanbul. He was such a fun guy to serve to and have to say I'm really surprised to read all these things he had been through. Him and Mire Chatman (Who was also playing for an Istanbul team named Besiktas) were buddies and always buying shots for people. Good days...