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Oxford Stories: Basketball Standout Now Promotes Healthy Living at University of Mississippi

dsc_1458In all Freshman Year Experience classes, students must listen to an uncomfortable, yet entertaining and informative sex talk. T. Davis, who leads this presentation, is funny, sarcastic and bold.

T. Davis. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications
T. Davis. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Frequent users of the Ole Miss recreation center know her well. When she isn’t teaching classes, planning a health-awareness event or focusing on making the university a better place, Davis is on the basketball court playing games with students.

After attending the University of Florida on a full-ride basketball scholarship and graduating with a degree in leisure service management, Davis went overseas to continue her professional basketball career. When she decided it was time to move on from basketball, she returned home to Tennessee.

“I took a job with the YMCA in my town,” said Davis, who has a passion for recreation. She was content, but another opportunity presented itself.

“At the time, Mississippi’s (Ole Miss) women’s basketball was not good, to say the least,” Davis remembers. She said her college coach, who attended the University of Mississippi in her playing days, had returned to the university to help the program make a comeback.

“She told me she had a graduate assistant position if I was interested in going to grad school,” said Davis. “I just said, ‘Sure.’ I hadn’t though about getting my master’s, but I was like, ‘OK’. I wasn’t doing anything special, so why not?”


Davis helped out with the team as a graduate assistant while working on her master’s in health promotion. She later returned to the YMCA in Tennessee after earning her master’s, waiting for the next opportunity to arise.

“I kept in good contact with my professor,” said Davis. “One day he said, ‘Oh, we are starting a doctorate program. Do you want to come back?’ Of course, I said, ‘Sure.’”

Davis, once again, returned to Ole Miss to climb to another level of education she had not previously planned. She earned a doctorate in health and kinesiology, the study of the mechanics of body movements.

dsc_1455Shortly afterward, a health educator and University of Mississippi health advocate advisor position in campus recreation opened up.

“I got this job, and have been doing it ever since,” said Davis, who finished her doctorate in May of 2016. She now works in the Turner Center on campus.

“Every time T walks into the Turner Center, she always has a smile on her face,” said Kelli Stevens, a Turner Center student worker. “She makes sure she greets everyone at the front desk and asks them how they’re doing. She even has nicknames for most of the people that work here. T works hard to be kind to everyone, and we all love her for that.”

Davis is now preparing for ‘Sex Week’ on campus. The week promotes safe sex practices, and Davis is one of the coordinators.

Davis said she enjoys meeting new students every year and seeing them transition throughout their time at the university.

“At this point, I have seen a whole class come through the school, and it’s awesome watching and helping all the students grow,” she said. “Knowing them from freshman to senior year is pretty cool.”

Davis said she tries to teach others to be good to one another. “Be treated well, and treat others well,” she said.

Calyn Hoerner can be reached at cshoerne@go.olemiss.edu. Read more stories like this on Oxford Stories.

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