Jordan Davis, who is in her second season as Lake Dallas head girls basketball coach following the move from Flower Mound Marcus, guided the Lady Falcons on a historic run during the 2019-20 season.
Lake Dallas was crowned co-district champion with state-ranked Denton Braswell, won a bi-district playoff game for the first time in 12 years and won in the area round for the first time since 2008.
Although the Lady Falcons lost to defending state champion Amarillo in the Class 5A Region I semifinals, Davis could only smile to think about how far her team had come in such a short amount of time.
And with eight returners who either started or received significant playing time last season, the Lady Falcons, ranked No. 21 in 5A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, are off to an 11-4 start to the 2020-21 season.
Davis was gracious enough to sit down with Star Local Media to chat about last season’s historic postseason run, her time playing women’s basketball for Baylor and the Lady Bears’ subsequent visit to the White House, where they were honored by former President George W. Bush after winning their first NCAA championship in 2005.
Describe the feeling of going through that incredible postseason run last season to get the Lady Falcons to the regional semifinals in your first season as Lake Dallas head coach.
Davis: Making to the regional semifinals was a tremendous feeling. I remember what it felt like when I was playing to make a deep run and as a coach now I want these players to experience it as well.
Mackenzie Buss missed all of last season with injuries to her ACL, MCL and meniscus. We saw how much of an impact that she provided for the team her freshman season and so far this season. How great is it having her back?
Davis: It is great having Buss back. She is a great talent with a high ceiling. She learned a lot being on the sideline last year and she has applied to her game.
Your district has a much different look to it this season. Little Elm and Denton Braswell have moved up to Class 6A. The Colony is in District 10-5A. Birdville, Richland, Grapevine and Colleyville-Heritage are new to your district. What is your assessment of the overall landscape of the district?
Davis: We are in a competitive district. Our approach is to take it one game at a time, especially in a season like this with all the uncertainty.
Obviously, COVID-19 has affected the sports world in so many ways. How have the players have approached it and what you say to them so they try not to think about it?
Davis: We stress to our players to be as safe as possible and wear their masks. These are unprecedented times and I imagine going through it as teenagers is hard on them. We tell them to enjoy the time on the court as much as they can because things change daily.
How did you get into coaching? And who were your biggest influences?
Davis: I never really wanted to be a coach, truthfully. When I graduated college, I worked at a bank in the marketing department for a year or so. I ended up coaching some kids in Waco in the summer to make some extra cash. Coaching that crew made me realize how much I missed basketball. I took a coaching job in Celina right before school started.
My biggest influences were the folks who coached me: my dad and mom, Bobby Bates, Joel Nelson, Jack Armstrong and Kim Mulkey. Each coach had a different approach to the game.
You were a guard for Baylor’s women’s basketball team when the Lady Bears won their first national championship in 2005. Describe the moment for you as a player when the final buzzer sounded at the 2005 Women's Final Four in Indianapolis after Baylor beat Michigan State to win its first national title.
Davis: Pure bliss. When that buzzer sounded it was the culmination of years of hard work, early and late-night shooting sessions paying off – and not just for me, my teammates as well. You and your family pour so much into a dream and when it came true for me, I was so incredibly happy and thankful for the ones helped get me to that moment.
You got to meet former President George W. Bush when Baylor visited the White House in 2005 to celebrate its first championship. Describe your visit with him.
Davis: President George W. Bush was such a sweet, thoughtful man. He had a ranch in Crawford – outside of Waco – so we had a McLennan County connection and we were able to spend 30 or so minutes in the Oval Office just chatting with him. He asked us questions and joked around with us.
I had actually met him when he was Governor of Texas. He draped the medals on the state tournament teams when I was in high school. I mentioned that to him at the White House and he remembered. He also mentioned he remembered my mom and asked how she was. That was a surreal moment.