PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mo’ne Davis — remember her? At 13, she became the first girl to ever win and pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history. Now, she’s all grown up and headed off to college in just a few days.
Marian Anderson Recreation Center is home to an indoor batting cage, a pool and lots of play space. But a brief walk around the facility reveals its also home to Mo’ne Davis.
Images of a younger Davis are all over the wall. One of the most striking, is a portrait of her at seven, with her signature pink glove.
“I probably had more swag back then than I do now,” said Davis. “My pants were high, my sleeves rolled up.”
Davis has fond memories of Anderson. It’s where she got to know her coach, Steve Bandura.
It’s where she fell in love with baseball and became a stand out athlete. It’s where her confidence shined brightly as she took on boys her age without fear.
“That girl then was just really paying attention to just playing sports and just really having fun,” she said, “it’s not like I chose this life where people are always watching.”
“That life” is the result of her meteoric rise in 2014.
That was when a then-13-year-old, Davis used her 70 mile per hour fastball to catapult her team, the Taney Dragons, to the Little League World Series by making her mark in history.
Her performance landed her the cover of Sports Illustrated and lead her travel around the country and the world.
“Meeting President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, that is up there,” she said when asked for three highlights she would never forget. “The Barnstorming Tour I took with my teammates. The third one, winning an ESPY, oh that tied with being on the cover of Sports Illustrated.”
“Hearing the news that I bumped Kobe Bryant off, like, that’s insane to me. I can’t believe that happened,” Davis added.
She later played with the Anderson Monarchs, staying with her team.
Davis once called basketball her main sport and spoke dreams of playing at the University of Connecticut. But as she matured, the desire waned and basketball was more work than fun. So she made the tough decision to let the sport go and focus on softball.
“I decided that if I wanted to play a sport for the next four years, I wanted to have fun with that sport,” she explained.
In just a few days, Davis will head off to Hampton University in Virginia, where she’ll start her collegiate softball career as a part of the Hampton Pirates softball team. Her major will be communications.
“I realized I became a very outgoing person,” said Davis, who wants to have her own TV show. “Maybe it was little league and all the interviews, but I realize I want to be on the other side of the camera.”
But her time in the spotlight is still going. And she plans to use it to inspire.
Her advice to girls is this: “Dream as big as you can and then go for it, because no one can stop you.”