UAlbany’s Da’Kquan Davis makes the big jump from Division III to Division I

UAlbany's Da'Kquan Davis puts up a jump shot Monday during the Great Danes' annual media day at the UAlbany basketball practice facility on the UAlbany campus.

UAlbany's Da'Kquan Davis puts up a jump shot Monday during the Great Danes' annual media day at the UAlbany basketball practice facility on the UAlbany campus.

ALBANY — The lights will be brighter this season for UAlbany’s Da’Kquan Davis, but it’s not as if he hasn’t performed in front of them. 

Davis, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard, is taking a graduate year with the Great Danes after playing four seasons at Division III Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. And as one would assume, to make the jump to Division I, Davis did very well for himself at Arcadia.

Davis, a Philadelphia native, was named the MAC Commonwealth Rookie of the Year his freshman season. His sophomore season, he was the conference’s player of the year and was selected to the NABC Division III All-District Team and All-Region first team.

His junior season, he made the All-Region second team, as well as the NABC All-District second team, and became the school’s all-time leading scorer. His senior season, among other honors, he was named to’s All-Mid Atlantic Region Team, finishing his Division III career with 1,825 points and helping the school earn its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Due to the pandemic, Davis was granted another year of eligibility, but he chose to skip basketball last season in order to finish his degree in sports management at Arcadia. He received Division I interest, and committed to UAlbany in April.

Despite being a scorer previously, Davis knows that Division I is a different animal, and coach Dwayne Killings and he see his role here as something else, though he will certainly score.

“Just being an older presence and an older mind to help these younger guys,” Davis said. “It’s bigger than me, at the end of the day, I’m here to help the team in any way possible. But at the same time I’m here to lead the younger guys, so that when I’m gone they can take the next step.”

“It’s been a little bit of a learning curve for Da’Kquan because this is the first time he’s been through this long a preseason, because in Division III basketball, they start on October 15th,” Killings said.

Nevertheless, Killings recognizes veteran leadership when he sees it.

“He’s starting to show up every day ready to go, ready to use his voice,” Killings said. “When he’s energetic and sharing energy with his teammates, it makes us such a better program. It makes him a better basketball player.”

Davis said he has adjusted to his new teammates well, noting he’s an outgoing person, so it doesn’t take him long to make friends. 

“As far as teammates, there’s Aaron Reddish, Tairi Ketner — these are guys who grew up in the Philadelphia area — so before we came to Albany, we were really close friends. That made the transition that much easier,” Davis said.

Like others on the Great Danes, Davis noted there isn’t an offensive standout on the team, and that defense may lead the way.

“I feel like our identity is going to be built around toughness and just getting stops,” Davis said. “I feel like we also want to play fast this year.

“If we come in and stack good days on top of each other, everything is going to go just right. Coach DK has done a good job of preaching being in the moment, no matter what you’re doing,” he added.

Killings hopes Davis’ past translates onto the court.

“He’s been through a lot in his life,” Killings said. “He comes from a really hard part of Philadelphia. He grinded his way through the Division III level, and last year he didn’t compete, he just finished school. Now he’s here. So I tell him all the time, ‘You’ve got to carry that onto the court. You’ve overcome a lot. Bring that passion, bring that resilience out here every single time we compete.’ ”

Categories: College Sports, Sports, Sports, UAlbany

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