As Columbia University’s women’s basketball team is having an incredible season with its best-ever start in Ivy League Conference play, junior guard/forward Kaitlyn Davis has been a standout. She received back-to-back Player of the Week honors from both the Ivy League and the Met Basketball Writers Association. She has started in all 20 games this season and is averaging 13.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
“I think Kaitlyn is the star in our league, and I think her stats are proving it,” said Columbia head coach Megan Griffith. “The way she affects the game in so many ways is very impressive. There’s nobody else doing that in our league. I’m really proud of her. The things that she said she wanted to accomplish as a Lion two years ago, she’s doing that. And she’s still not a finished product.”
It’s not even that Davis is a traditional sophomore. She is, in fact, a junior psychology major at Columbia College. Columbia, like all schools in the Ivy League, sat out the entire 2020-’21 season due to the pandemic. That means after Davis’ outstanding freshman season, she didn’t play another collegiate game for 20 months.
“Over the quarantine, I was able to live with my teammates and we all pushed each other every day as we were working on our skills and working on getting better,” said Davis. “This is just the culmination of that.”
Every day, in addition to virtual classes, Davis and her teammates went to the gym and worked out and then played three-on-three or two-on-two basketball. Returning to campus, the full team and competition felt great. She said she doesn’t really think about what got her to this point, she’s just focused on getting better.
“Pushing myself and my teammates,” said Davis. “If that means that I come out with a double-double that game, that’s kind of just what it is. … I’m trying to look at the small things, details, every day and work hard.”
Davis chose Columbia because she liked the coaching staff and team and was intrigued by the idea of building a program and also laying a foundation for her future. “It wasn’t an immediate gratification thing,” said Davis, who plans to pursue an MBA in the future.
Columbia is currently 16–4 overall and 7–1 in conference play. The team travels to Davis’ home state of Connecticut on Saturday to take on Yale.