When Kevon Davenport was 10 years old, he told his dad he wanted to be the best wrestler in the world.
Almost a decade later, the freshman dons a Nebraska singlet and what he calls his cool wrestling shoes with pride. He knows the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is his stepping stone to the Olympics one day.
Davenport is a Sports Media and Communication major from Pontiac, MI who is used to working hard for what he wants.
His friend Kinley Hansen said he is unstoppable.
“Minor setbacks are not his thing,” the freshman business marketing and management double major said.
She said he will consistently test what people believe is impossible and make it possible.
Davenport said he isn’t nervous about his transition from high school to college athletics. He says he’s already wrestled against ranked collegiate wrestlers and either won or has given them a strong fight.
So far, Davenport has proven his abilities with his individual championship win for the Huskers in the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Nov. 17.
He has four state titles in high school wrestling; he wrestled at the Pan Ams in Argentina his sophomore year of high school; and earned the 2019 Detroit Free Press Athlete of the Year title as a senior.
Davenport’s mother Izetta Davenport said the last accolade was a complete surprise.
She said they were aware Kevon was up for wrestler of the year but not for the biggest prize.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Izetta said. “When he ended up winning I said, ‘Oh my goodness, this is so wonderful, this is such a blessing.'”
But that was just one moment for Kevon.
His dad Kevin Davenport said he has been waking Kevon up for early morning practices before school every day for years as his father and coach.
“He made a commitment,” Kevin said. “He didn’t like it [training] all the time, but I never had to force him to do it.”
This work ethic is what Kevin believes made Kevon the athlete he is today.
Kevin focused on preparing Kevon for his matches. The father had to learn wrestling before he could teach it to his son. He had never wrestled, so he stayed up late at night studying, he found camps and training opportunities for Kevon to attend and he learned to understand Kevon’s every movement. Kevon said this bond has grown so close that his dad can predict his next move in a wrestling match and can give either a slight nod of approval or a second of eye contact saying “not that move today.”
This proved beneficial most of the time, but Kevin admitted he was glad to have Izetta around to help keep the balance between dad and coach.
Kevon said he loved the dynamic at home because he was always being pushed to do his best.
“We don’t train to win,” Kevon said. “We train to dominate.”