JD Davison officially signs with Alabama basketball, stays loyal to home
A crowd bifurcated after climbing the main steps of the Calhoun school. Some turned right into the gymnasium. Others went left toward the school's media center and library.
Inside the library sat JD Davison in a red sweater and red cap. It stood out in front of the Calhoun Tigers backdrop. Those in attendance, lining the back walls like a horseshoe, wore Class 2A state championship T-shirts.
About 12:40 p.m., a piece of paper was slid in front of Davison and his mother, Katrina Davison. They both signed it, and when Katrina finished she looked up.
"Well, Roll Tide," she said.
As expected, JD Davison signed his national letter of intent to the University of Alabama. The Tide secured the best point guard in the 2021 class, per 247Sports.
The event lasted around 20 minutes. It was intentionally short because of a junior varsity game occurring in the gym – where the other crowd was. While the community wanted to gather and celebrate its native son, many of the players, including Davison, wanted to attend the game. The afternoon matched the narrative of Davison's tenure at the school.
"That’s how Lowndes County is and how Calhoun the school is," Calhoun boys basketball coach Ervin Starr said. "Everybody is very close. Everybody knows everybody."
Davison is a five-star prospect who exerts his own gravitational pull. One speaker during the ceremony preemptively asked Davison for Lakers tickets. Davison wasn't sure about the total number of college offers he had when asked afterward. A personal cameraman even tracked Davison throughout.
Administrators hope Davison's success can be recreated. After the signing, the large group moved to the front for a big photo. Sitting to the side, Starr remarked that Davison's story gave other students "hope."
Since his eighth grade season, other schools have tried to poach Davison. He told Starr personally, "I'm not going anywhere." He made his name as a Tiger.
Starr has repeated the story of Davison's loyalty for years. It was celebrated on Saturday. Starr hopes it gets passed down to younger grades. Another speaker wished for Davison's decision to kick-start a wave of successful Calhoun athletes.
After a barrage of photos, the crowd thinned and Starr finalized the Alabama paperwork. Davison signed another sheet and walked out of the library door. A group behind him, he turned left toward the gymnasium and the junior varsity game.
"He’s kept true to his word," Starr said. "Him signing with the University of Alabama is kind of the same way.”