When Daviyon Draper answered his phone today, he sounded happy and relieved. He had made the decision to enroll at Antelope Valley College and play basketball with its very talented team. Draper had been overwhelmed with calls from college coaches to join their teams and now that was over. He was a Marauder.
I asked Daviyon why he had chosen AVC and he said that he trusted the coaching staff and knew that Michaelyn Scott from Washington High School was doing very well at AVC.
So who is this Daviyon Draper that so many colleges have been recruiting? He graduated this year from Locke High School and averaged 24.5 points per game and was named to the All-LA City First team.
Daviyon at 6’8”, 175, handles the ball extremely well, shoots the 3 ball, and is very athletic and quick and should fit in well with the talented Antelope Valley College team who is known for its up tempo D-1 style basketball and placing their players with University scholarships.
The following article from Westcoasthoopes gives additional information about Draper.
If each league in the City Section put together a five-man all-star team, the Coliseum League would be tough to beat with the 6-foot-5 Edwards; Baker, who’s averaging 20 points per game; All-City guard Sheldon Wright of View Park Prep; 6-7 Donald Muepo Jr. of Dorsey; and 6-7 Daviyon Draper of Locke.
Coaches have to do their best work to keep players happy and focused. Take the case of Draper. He didn’t play last season as a junior while Webster tried to help him with issues on and off the court.
“I remember his statement, ‘Don’t give up on me,’ ” Webster said. “He’s made academic progress. His attitude has changed tremendously.”
Draper might be the most underrated player in the Los Angeles City Section. He’s had games of 27 points against L.A. Windward, 27 against St. John Bosco and 23 against Crenshaw.
He’s a 6-7 point guard trying to convince recruiters he can play in college. He has been making up grades and preparing to become NCAA-qualified.
“He’s come a long ways,” Webster said. “He didn’t realize how hard he had to work. He realizes he has to work to get the things he needs.”
Said Draper: “He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”
Draper lives with his grandmother and has had a hernia since his sophomore year. He said he missed an appointment in the summer of 2010 to repair it, and since then, whether because of insurance issues or time constraints, he’s still playing with a hernia and not doing too badly, considering he’s averaging 24 points per game.
The players on the Antelope Valley College team are a mature talented group. They will will take Daviyon under their wing and make it clear what college basketball is all about. Draper will find out what it is to play with a group of men headed to Division 1 universities, who are dedicated to their academics, and expect no less from their teammates. Daviyon made a good decision.