About a month after forward Marisa Davis found her women’s college basketball home starting in 2021 and decided to move across town to Chandler and play for AZ Compass Prep’s traveling national team, she needed a new college for her future residence.
She and her family also realized it would be good to head home for her senior season of high school. Davis technically never enrolled at Compass Prep, and she will spend her senior season trying to lead Valley Vista girls basketball to a fourth 6A state title in five seasons.
This homecoming probably does not happen if the Duke University women’s basketball coach does not step down a month after Davis signed with the Blue Devils and her replacement wants her own Class of 2021 to head to Durham.
“It opened my eyes and made me realize that I wanted to stay home with my family because family means everything to me. Not only my parents and sibling but Valley is really special to me. I love my community and I want to be at home before I leave off to college,” Davis stated in a Twitter interview.
Her mother, Laurie Jones, stated in a Twitter interview that Marisa didn’t go to Compass Prep after all, and because she had decommitted to Duke she had to start her whole recruitment process over. She said the family still needed to provide some credentials in order to complete registration and a walk through where she was going to live near the Chandler school.
So Marisa decided to stay at home. While she enrolled in the Dysart Unified School District’s iSchool online program for her courses, Davis will play for Valley Vista.
“It was more a case of 'I need to stay at home and figure this out' since everything has changed as far as where she was gonna go to college,” Ms. Jones stated. “Her thought was if I’m gonna play basketball for my last year, (if there’s even a season) I might as well play for the school I've been playing for. Plus she thought about it even more that she could still train with her trainer and still get that college-level training with him, plus still get that same extra workout with (Coach) Matakas.”
While her Duke departure was the catalyst for her return to the Monsoon, neither Marisa nor her parents, Charles or Laurie Jones, dwelled on it.
And it lead her to her verbal commitment to the University of Washington on Aug. 9. The Huskies were the last of several Pac-12 teams to offer Davis once Duke changed direction.
Washington offered July 31, following California and Utah on July 28. Big 12 program Texas Tech also offered her on July 28.
“It wasn’t difficult at all. We look at things differently. We’ve taught our children when things don’t go as planned, it’s for good reason. God got her,” Ms. Jones said. “Prior to her committing to Duke, she already had majority of the Pac-12 teams recruiting her. So it was a blessing when Washington and other schools reached out still wanting her to play for them.”
Plus Davis barely had time to reflect on Duke, decommitting from the Blue Devils July 28. She committed to the private school in North Carolina on June 1.
On July 2, Duke women’s basketball coach Joanne P. McCallie resigned, in part she described in a video, because she was entering the final season of her contract.
The Blue Devils hired former WNBA legend Kara Lawson on July 11. By the end of the month, all four Blue Devils signees for the Class of 2021 decommitted from the program.
“It wasn’t difficult at all because I’ve been taught that when one door closes it’s because God is saving me from something and he has something specially made for me. It motivated me even more honestly, I would enjoy playing against Duke,” Davis stated.
The second time around, Davis said, she was more aware of the recruiting process and had more questions to ask.
The answers led her to Seattle, where she joins former Scottsdale Chaparral and current PHH Prep guard Jess Finney as Arizona players arriving in 2021.
“I had to make sure contracts were definitely in place. I had to get more of a feel of what their players thought of the school and the coaching staff,” Davis stated. “I chose Washington because of their academics, resources, diversity, style of play and because the coaching staff believes in ‘family’ and that means everything to me. Another note to add to that is my favorite player went there, Kelsey Plum. It just felt right.”