Home Court Advantage for Maple Grove's Davison Family
Jul 08, 2016 06:15AM ● Published by Doug Erlien
Left to Right: Angie Davison, Brad Davison, Stephanie (Davison) Fort
Stephanie had just returned from her honeymoon - following a May graduation from the University of Northern Iowa. Angie, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, had a break for the Fourth of July week. Brad, after a whirlwind week long recruiting trip, had been busy packing for his next journey- a trek to Peach Jam in South Carolina with his Howard Pulley AAU team.
All three assembled on the sport court in their backyard that has hosted thousands of hours of basketball.
For the Davison family, it’s their home court.
All three competed in multiple sports at Maple Grove Senior High. Stephanie played volleyball, for Angie it was soccer and Brad has quarterbacked the Crimson to back-to-back state semi-final appearances.
It’s basketball, however, that has stuck for all three.
“I think the earliest memories I have were like third and fourth grade where we did the dribble relays,” Angie said. “I always wanted to go first, so I could go twice because we always had one less person.”
For Stephanie, it was a milestone.
“In our first year of traveling, my mom was our coach and we got second in state. I remember our semifinal game went into overtime and I made my first three-pointer in a game,” Stephanie recalled. “It was from the top of the key and it was the coolest thing.”
Brad set the Maple Grove scoring record in his junior season, helping propel the Crimson to the state tournament for the first time in five years. Yet when it comes to the most influential basketball players he has watched, his sisters are at the top of his list.
“I don’t know how old I was, but I was in my Duke jersey and it was Steph’s game. She had a really good game and there was this big time photographer there taking pictures of the game. Every time she scored, apparently I went crazy,” Brad said. “We walk out to get these pictures of Steph and there was a big collage of me going crazy. I think that’s when I realized I really loved basketball.”
Brad is in the middle of a summer that has put him on the radars of some of the best college programs in the country. He has received offers from more than 20 Division I colleges, including Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan, Stanford, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Butler, and the University of Minnesota.
He leans on the experience of his sisters whom he watched go through the recruiting process before both choosing University of Northern Iowa as their destination for their post secondary education and basketball.
“I just tell him, 'you’ll know when you know',” Stephanie said. “Everything is amazing. They tell you all the great stuff about their school and we both went through that - but when you know, you know.”
“You want to go to what’s best for you,” Angie said. “It might not be where everyone around here wants you to go, but it’s where you believe is best for you and where you’ll fit in.”
“My mind’s settling down a little bit,” Brad said. “It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.”
With their parents, Jim and Cori heavily involved in the Osseo-Maple Grove Basketball Association (OMGBA), the trio have grown up with the good and bad of competitive sports - all have aspirations of coaching the sport they love when they are done playing.
In the meantime, on the rare day in July they were all together, they stepped onto their home court for a game of PIG before parting ways again.
Stephanie and husband, L.J. Fort, will head to Pittsburgh, where L.J. is a linebacker for the Steelers to begin her after university journey. Angie will travel back to the University of Northern Iowa where she will begin her final year of her college education and basketball for the Panthers. Brad will put together his senior year at Maple Grove High School.
When asked for a prediction of their backyard game, it was unanimous.
“Oh, Brad,” Angie said. “He doesn’t miss,” Stephanie followed.
During their backyard game of PIG, Brad did miss a couple, but both of his sisters were correct, Brad retained his title. Not bad for a kid who was bribed by his sisters to rebound their shots with skittles and starburst. He won then, too.
Brad announced in early July that he would attend the University of Wisconsin following his senior year at Maple Grove.