Walnut Ridge’s VonCameron Davis named 2020 Mr. Ohio Basketball

Walnut Ridge Senior VonCameron Davis Named Ohio Mr. Basketball
Headed to Kent State, Davis averaged 26.2 points and 10.3 rebounds for 22-5 Columbus City League champs

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus Walnut Ridge High School senior VonCameron Davis was announced as Ohio Mr. Basketball Wednesday by a statewide media panel.

Now in its 33rd year, the prestigious award was first given by the Associated Press in 1988. It has been voted by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association since 2017.

The 6-foot, 5-inch, 220-pound Davis led Walnut Ridge to a 22-5 record and the school’s first Columbus City League championship since 1971. He averaged 26.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and shot 52.7 percent from the field. He will continue his academic and basketball career at Kent State University.

Davis and former Northland High School standout Jared Sullinger, a two-time Mr. Basketball honoree, are the only boys basketball players to earn first-team All-Columbus City League honors all four years.

Other finalists for the award were Christopher “CJ” Anthony of Harvest Prep, Luke Powell of Barnesville, Josiah Fulcher of Lima Senior, Grant Whisman of Middletown Madison, Zach Rasile of McDonald, Malaki Branham of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and John Hugley of Lyndhurst Brush.

Journey of Hard Work Takes VonCameron Davis to Mr. Basketball
By Steve Blackledge
The Columbus Dispatch

Upon learning that he had been selected Ohio’s Mr. Basketball for 2020, Walnut Ridge senior VonCameron Davis ecstatically began thanking the coaches, personal trainers, teammates and opponents who helped him along the journey.

But right at the top of the list were his parents, Von and Dawanna Davis. Their blue-collar work ethic helped shape VonCameron into the humble person and relentless player he became.

“My Mom is a bus driver for Columbus City Schools and my Dad is a truck driver, so they get up at about 4 o’clock in the morning,” Davis said. “They’ve been great role models for me. Mom always wakes me up and I usually go to work out before school. I picked up that mindset from them.”

Scots second-year coach Chuck Jefferson said Davis’ claim is not embelished.

“He’s the first person at school almost every morning, usually about 5 a.m.,” Jefferson said. “Nothing has been given to VonCameron. He has earned everything he’s got with good old-fashioned hard work.”

Something of a renaissance man, Davis credits much of his cardiovascular strength and endurance to being a competitive swimmer. He was a lifeguard at a pool during summers.

Davis, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior forward who has signed to play at Kent State, had a senior season -- and a career -- to remember.

Practically unstoppable in the low and high post, Davis averaged 26.2 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting 52.7 percent from the field for a 22-5 team that won its first City League title since 1971 and knocked off top-seeded Gahanna for a district championship before being ousted in regional play.

The multi-skilled left-hander finished his career with 2,201 points and 819 rebounds. He made first-team All-City four times. The only other player to do that was two-time Mr. Basketball winner Jared Sullinger of Northland.

Other finalists for the award were Christopher “CJ” Anthony of Harvest Prep, Luke Powell of Barnesville, Josiah Fulcher of Lima Senior, Grant Whisman of Middletown Madison, Zach Rasile of McDonald, Malaki Branham of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and John Hugley or Lyndhurst Brush.

Ironically, Anthony is a neighbor and close friend of Davis. They rank Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, as the all-time leading scorers in central Ohio.

“I really didn’t know much about Mr. Basketball until a few years ago, but Jared and Trey (Burke) talked to me about how important it was and I made it a goal coming into the season,” Davis said. “I realize that a lot of it has to do with team success, and took care of that this year, so I’m thankful to my teammates.”

Jefferson said he first saw Davis as a freshman while scouting for Pickerington North coach Jason Bates, and immediately thought he possessed the tools to be special.

“Those first two years, he played mostly with his back to the basket and I made it my goal to help transform him into a more complete player,” Jefferson said. “He can do it all, from ball-handling to shooting, but the key thing is he’s not just a scorer. He was double- and triple-teamed a lot of games and he still found ways to make his teammates succeed. I compare him to Tim Duncan in that he leads by example.

“I can’t say enough good things about VonCameron. He’s a workhorse and real quit, humble kid who’s going to be very successful in the Mid-American Conference with Kent State. I think he can play right away there.”

Although many friends urged him to consider a more prominent program, Davis felt Kent State was a great fit and committed last summer. Golden Flashes assistant coach Julian Sullinger (an older brother of Jared) convinced him that Kent State (20-12) is a program on the rise.

Davis averaged 15.9 points and 6.9 rebounds as a freshman, 22.8 points and 6.9 rebounds as a sophomore and 27.5 points and 11.6 rebounds in 2018-19.

“It’s been quite a journey,” Davis said. “Although things didn’t turn out quite the way we wanted (losing to Hilliard Bradley in a regional semifinal), we made some history this year and community and alums really got behind us. That will be my greatest memory.”

sblackledge@dispatch.com
@BlackiePreps

6380
Photo courtesy Columbus Dispatch

Ohio Mr. Basketball Ohio winners
2020 – VonCameron Davis, Columbus Walnut Ridge
2019 – Samari Curtis, Xenia
2018 - Dane Goodwin, Upper Arlington
2017 - Kaleb Wesson, Westerville South
2016 - Xavier Simpson, Lima Senior
2015 - 2014 Luke Kennard, Franklin High School
2013 - Marc Loving, Toledo St. John's Jesuit
2012 - Justin Fritts, Mentor
2011 - Trey Burke, Columbus Northland
2010 - Jared Sullinger, Columbus Northland
2009 - Jared Sullinger, Columbus Northland
2008 - William Buford, Toledo Libbey
2007 - Jon Diebler, Upper Sandusky
2006 - O.J. Mayo, North College Hill
2005 - O.J. Mayo, North College Hill
2004 - Jamar Butler, Lima Shawnee
2003 - LeBron James, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
2002 - LeBron James, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
2001 - LeBron James, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
2000 - (tie) Tony Stockman, Medina; Chester Mason, Cleveland South
1999 - Isaac Jefferson, Columbus West
1998 - William "Sonny" Johnson, Garfield Heights
1997 - Kenny Gregory, Independence
1996 - Jason Collier, Springfield Catholic
1995 - Damon Stringer, Cleveland Heights
1994 - Aaron Hutchins, Lima Central Catholic
1993 - Geno Ford, Cambridge
1992 - Greg Simpson, Lima Senior
1991 - Greg Simpson, Lima Senior
1990 - Bob Patton Jr., Youngstown Liberty
1989 - Jimmy Jackson, Toledo Macomber
1988 - Jimmy Jackson, Toledo Macomber

 
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Football Fan 1

Active member
Excited that Mr. Ohio basketball is coming to Kent State. What’s the connection? The Kent’s and Akron’s usually don’t get a Mr. Basketball to come play for them.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Excited that Mr. Ohio basketball is coming to Kent State. What’s the connection? The Kent’s and Akron’s usually don’t get a Mr. Basketball to come play for them.
I think the highest profile to recruit him was OU. KSU I think was the first or one of the first to offer him. For what it’s worth, there’s a Mr Basketball in recent memory who went D2.
 

coldshoulder

Active member
Excited that Mr. Ohio basketball is coming to Kent State. What’s the connection? The Kent’s and Akron’s usually don’t get a Mr. Basketball to come play for them.
From the Columbus Dispatch article in the original post:

Although many friends urged him to consider a more prominent program, Davis felt Kent State was a great fit and committed last summer. Golden Flashes assistant coach Julian Sullinger (an older brother of Jared) convinced him that Kent State (20-12) is a program on the rise.
 

Insane92

Active member
No one saw this coming but good for him and good for Kent. I figured either Malaki or player from Shawnee.
I could see Mangas (Lima Shawnee) and Branham (SVSM) being neck and neck for it next year. Two really good players with both teams having a lot coming back next year.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Hard to imagine how he was under-the-radar. He was DI POY? Excellent stats. Big school like so many on other threads were saying is necessary. Seems quality kid.
 

Salesman

Active member
Congrats to this young man. Best of luck as you continue your career at Kent State. It appears Mom and Dad raised a good one!!!
 

BigLex

Member
Hard to imagine how he was under-the-radar. He was DI POY? Excellent stats. Big school like so many on other threads were saying is necessary. Seems quality kid.

Under the radar because he was a 2☆ to start the year by recruiting services and "only" 9th rated player in Ohio. But that was after last summer.
 
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