3x3 a New Experience for Jyáre Davis, Takes Him to the Youth Olympic Games
The 16-year-old had never tried 3x3 before getting the chance with USA Basketball
Feeling discouraged and allowing it to get the best of him is one way Jyáre Davis could have reacted to his first USA Basketball experiences.
He tried out in 2017 for the USA U16 National Team but wasn’t selected for the final roster. He also participated in two USA Junior National Team minicamps.
The majority of young players hopeful of representing their country in a USA Basketball uniform experience some setbacks along the way. Instead of being discouraged about his predicaments, Davis understood he was at the beginning of a journey and kept working toward his goal.
After his sophomore high school season concluded this past spring in his hometown of Newark, Delaware, Davis received a call from Don Showalter, USA Basketball head coach and coach director, youth division, inviting him to participate in something relatively new. Davis joined three other players to form a team for the 2018 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship.
Davis teamed with Dudley Blackwell, Patrick McCaffery and Carson McCorkle to win the championship, and the foursome went on to represent the USA at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games from Oct. 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“I think it’s so cool that basketball can take me outside the country,” Davis said. “A lot of people can’t say they’ve done something like this before. So, I’m really honored to be a part of it. I’m looking forward to winning some games while we’re down there and hopefully bringing back the gold medal.”
Prior to Showalter’s urging, Davis said his only experience with 3x3 basketball came while playing pickup games at the city park. It took some getting used to.
Davis remembers his first practice with his new teammates and Showalter. They spent a few minutes scrimmaging, and, despite the fact that 3x3 is played in the half-court, it didn’t take long before Davis and his teammates were gassed.
“That was the first thing we all had to get used to and the first thing that kind of surprised me, because you would think 3x3 would be easier in the half court,” Davis said. “It actually is really fast compared to the five-on-five game.”
The 3x3 game also is more physical, at least once it gets to the competition, because officials don’t call many of the fouls players are accustomed to getting in the five-on-five game, Davis said.
While he’s new to playing 3x3 at a competitive level, Davis said he loves the game. Winning a national title out of the gate didn’t hurt that view. He said he believes he’s most effective when he is attacking the rim, which he can do a little easier in 3x3, simply because of the spacing on the floor.
“I like the scoring situations you’re put in,” he said. “It allows different situations to show your skill. I like the pace at which the game is played. Those are probably the things I like the most.”
Davis is a 6-foot-6 forward who already is garnering plenty of attention from colleges with his that level still two years away. His trip to the recent Youth Olympic Games was his first out of the country.
Davis and his teammates might not have made the trip to Argentina if not for the chemistry they have together on the court. The four players often text each other and encourage each other as they prepare for a tournament on their own.
Davis said he regularly works out and tries to get in a good run on the court as often as possible. He said he also ran for training purposes, wanting to be in top shape when the Youth Olympic Games began.
He doesn’t want to repeat any of those taxing experiences from those first few 3x3 practices with Showalter. But now, with plenty of experience under their belts, Davis feels he and his teammates have all the tools necessary to compete on the world stage.
“We all have pretty good size,” Davis said. “We’re all versatile players, and we all kind of work together well. So, I think those are the things that separate us from other teams.”