TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Oh baby.
When Alabama guard Brittany Davis had to take a step back from basketball and miss the 2020-21 season, she had no idea how much her life was about to change.
The previous year she had appeared in all 30 games as a sophomore, and was named SEC Player of the Week in mid-December. She was going to be a key part of a team that would make the NCAA Tournament.
Only something much bigger, and life-altering came along.
While the world dealt with the coronavirus, and many sports were shut down, Davis had the additional stress of being pregnant during a pandemic.
We're happy to tell you now that Davis' daughter Brielle just had her first birthday last Friday when Alabama played Western Carolina.
Her mom was in uniform as well. She finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and a pair of steals. Yet hardly anyone was talking about her statistics that night.
"You know, you think back a year ago, and where she's at a year ago today... it's just pretty special," an emotional head coach Kristy Curry said following the 77-43 victory at Coleman Coliseum. "It's all in your response and support from her family and her teammates has been unbelievable.
"I'm so proud of her. I'm proud of the player, but most importantly the mom she's becoming."
"My daughter made me better in every way possible," Davis wrote in her story, Brielle.
When Davis had to break the news of her pregnancy to Curry, telling her that she would not be able to play her junior season, the coach never wavered. She offered immediate support regardless of whether she could play or not.
Having another player go though something similar, the coach knew just how important that would be (never mind that she's a mother of two herself). After the birth of her daughter Kamryn, forward Ashley Williams successfully returned to both play for the Crimson Tide and graduate in 2018. She subsequently signed a two-year contract to play professionally in Germany.
That support went a long way.
"Seeing my coach, teammates, and, most of all, my family not giving up on me helped me not to give up on myself," Davis said.
Davis is not only back in action for Alabama, but she is locked in on both ends of the floor. Heading into Tuesday night's home game against Memphis (6 p.m. CT, SEC Network+), the senior averaged 17.1 points to lead the Crimson Tide in scoring through Alabama's first seven games.
In the opener, her first game back, Davis posted a double-double against Charleston Southern with 25 points and 12 rebounds. She only played 22 minutes, which was more than enough time to prove to herself and the world that she was definitely back and better than ever.
Since then, Davis has reached double digits in every game.
From long range, she's made two-or-more threes in every contest, hitting at 36.8 percent.
The guard also has 13 steals.
"She went through a lot of change last year, and the way she responded to it has just been phenomenal on and off the floor," Curry said. "I see her being more mature as a person. Obviously, she has to be.
"These kids leave a legacy, and they understand what legacy means, to be Alabama for life. It's where legends are made, they're going to be a legend for life. Brittany is one of those kids that's committed to do it already. Just to see her growth beyond the Xs and Os has been unbelievable."
In turn, the family atmosphere of this Alabama women's basketball team has gone to another level. Everyone has been more than accepting of Brielle in the locker room.
"This team is close off the court," junior guard Jamya Mingo-Young said. "When you're close off the court, it's easy for it to translate on the court."
It's living proof to something Davis has tweeted after every win this season: "By ourselves we can do so little, but together we can do so much."