Thirteen-year-old sensation Mo'ne Davis, who plays for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, has become the first Little Leaguer to grace the national cover of Sports Illustrated. The 5-foot-4 inch, 111-pound eighth grader is not only taking the Little League World Series by storm, but also she has captured the nation’s attention.
"Last week, this week, maybe next week, she's owned the sports conversation," Sports Illustrated manager editor Chris Stone said. "How often do you get to say this about a 13-year-old girl? It's the easiest type of story to identify as a cover story."
"The writer, Albert Chen, said it perfectly in the story, 'She's a lot of things to a lot of different people, all of them good things: a totem for inner-city baseball, a role model for your 10-year-old niece, a role model for your 10-year-old nephew,' " Stone said. "Most of all, she's a laid-back kid just having a really good time."
And Davis says that she doesn’t even know if she will continue playing baseball.
The nation first took notice after Davis used her 70 mph fastball to throw a shutout in the Mid-Atlantic Final that sent her team to the World Series. She followed that up by becoming the first girl to throw a shutout in World Series history, throwing a two-hitter and striking out eight in a 4-0 win over Nashville last Friday.
For good measure, Davis had an RBI single in Philadelphia’s victory over Pearland, Texas, this week, becoming the sixth girl to collect a hit in Little League World Series history.
For all her baseball accolades, Davis says her dream is to play basketball for the University of Connecticut.
“To be honest, I never thought I’d be famous for baseball,” she says. “I want to play basketball, and I could also do both basketball and baseball -- but I really want to play basketball.”
She also says that she is learning to deal with the media spotlight.
“People were like, 'Oh, there are going to be people running up to you taking pictures’ and I thought it was going to be a bunch of little kids. But it’s grown-ups! And that’s, like, creepy," she said.
Should Davis and Philadelphia take home the trophy from South Williamsport, more interviews and more attention will certainly come her way.
For more on Davis, check out Albert Chen's piece in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated (subscribe here).
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