Wednesday October 7th, 2015 3:39PM

East Hall looking to make most of Davenport's development (VIDEO)

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
RABBITTOWN -- Two years ago Joe Dix wondered if Kyvon Davenport would ever be a regular contributor for East Hall basketball.

These days Dix mixes Davenport's name in the same conversation with those of Antoine Whelchel and Walter Hill.

It's safe to say the Vikings junior has come a long way from those initial practice sessions when he struggled just to dribble the ball or make a lay-up.

"(Davenport) just showed up in the summer (before his freshman year started). I remember it very well," coach Dix said. "He walked in and said he wanted to play ball, and it was obvious very early on that he was going to need a lot of work. He didn't play very much as a ninth grader, and then he started to progress. We moved him up, right at end of his ninth grade year, and last year he became a part-time starter. This year he's just kind of exploded on the scene."

Indeed, Davenport's dominance has been a revelation for the Vikings, with the forward averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds over the first half of the season.

(NOTE: To watch a video feature with Davenport, simply click "play" in the box to the right.)

"The last guy we had close to that was Antoine Whelchel, who played at Murray State in the late 90s," Dix said. "Those are impressive numbers and he's been pretty consistent. He's had one single digit game in rebounding and one in scoring."

Perhaps most impressive is that Davenport has just scratched the surface of his potential.

Now a determined, confident and focused player on -- and off -- the court, Davenport is looking not only to continue his meteoric rise but also help the Vikings back to the lofty perch they occupied when players like Whelchel roamed the floor.

"This team could be great because we're still young and learning, everyone's still developing," Davenport said. "We've got to keep getting better. We've got to be more consistent through the whole game. But I'm ready. I'm ready to win, ready to win all of it."

Davenport has led East Hall through a roller-coaster start to the campaign that has seen the Vikings go 6-7, 2-2 in Region 7-AAA, against a rigorous schedule that included top teams such as Buford and a holiday tournament appearance in Florida against some of that state's top-ranked squads.

Now, East Hall wants to grow from that experience and storm down the stretch run of the campaign.

"It's gone good at some points, at some points gone bad," Davenport said. "Right now we just need to keep winning. We need to win in region."

That will include a key 7-AAA match-up Friday night at White County where Davenport will look to use his size and effort to dominate under the basket as he has for much of this season.

"The great thing about him is we run stuff for him, but you don't have to run anything for him to score because he's such a great rebounder. He just goes and gets it," Dix said. "He saw a little different side down in Florida, especially after the first game when teams started putting double-teams on him. He struggled a little bit, but he's adjusted since then. And we've seen some more double teams since then and he's handled it better."

Davenport knows he can expect more of the same from here on out -- it comes with the territory of being a dominant inside player -- even if he is still getting used to that fact.

"It's very different because I started off not being very good, and it went by very quick," Davenport said. "And I'm still developing."

Already a player that prides himself on defense, Davenport is continuously working in the weight room
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 9 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 9 months ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 9 months ago )
High School Sports
(VIDEO) Player of the Week: Cain trashes Fannin to spark Leopards win
Banks County football needed a spark on Friday night. And Trevae Cain was happy to help provide it...
4:59PM ( 1 hour from now )
Region races ready for exciting sprint to the finish
With just five weeks left before the start of the playoffs, it’s crunch time for every team in northeast Georgia as the playoff stretch run gets under way.
4:50PM ( 1 hour from now )
Richt says he understands criticism from Georgia fans
Mark Richt has heard criticism from Georgia fans impatient for a championship and especially tired of losing to Alabama...
1:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
Projected as title contender, Tech mired in slide with Clemson, Watson looming
Not so long ago, Georgia Tech was being touted as one of the top teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and maybe even a dark horse in the national race.
10:24AM ( 5 hours ago )
Chase or not, Earnhardt wants to keep pit crew intact
When it comes to keeping his pit crew intact throughout the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a strong proponent of the status quo.
By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 7 hours ago )