Davon Richardson was barely a teenager when he was forced to learn one of life’s cruel lessons: no one is guaranteed tomorrow.
Richardson was emerging as one of the Tulsa area’s promising young basketball players at Central High School when his mother passed away. He moved in with his father’s family, which meant he had to change schools.
“My freshman year I lost my mom and I moved in with my dad,” recalled Richardson. “My sophomore year I came to Sand Springs. I didn’t really want to because I didn’t feel like it was a good school for me.”
“Turns out,” added the 6-4 senior forward, “great coach, great team, great place to be and I actually love it. I think it turned out the best for me.”
“There were a lot of changes going on for a 16-year-old to have to try and manage and work through, in addition to trying to play a high level of basketball,” recalled Sand Springs head coach Eric Savage.
The transition to a new school was eased a lot by winning. Sand Springs advanced to the state tournament Richardson’s sophomore season for the first time in 55 years.
He poured in a career high 44 points against Owasso as a sophomore, but his game has evolved into more than just a scorer the past two seasons.
“It’s been a really good transformation,” said Savage, who won three state titles at Tulsa Memorial before taking over at Sand Springs in 2013. “He’s really matured over the course of his career. He’s really been a leader on and off the court this year.”
This season has been a challenging one for the Sandites. They lost two key players (Jaeden Heard and Daren Hawkins) in January to season-ending knee injuries , but they rallied to earn back-to-back regional championships for the first time in school history.
“We were at a real crossroads in our season,” admitted Savage, who recently picked up his 100th win with the Sandites. “The guys stayed positive and kept believing in themselves. They believed they could still beat good teams.”
“We knew we had to step up even more than what we were already doing,” added Richardson, who’s averaging more than 16 points and eight rebounds a game this season. “I feel like everyone liked the challenge.”
Richardson is just the sixth player in Sand Springs history to score more than 1,000 points and he credits Savage for bringing out the best in him.
“He pushes you in practice every day to get better,” stated Richardson, who has committed to play at the University of Central Oklahoma. “He knows what you can do and he tells you what his expectations for you are. His coaching style is like none other. He knows what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. He gets the job done.”
“He’s just a terrific young man who’s finally settled in and is comfortable in his surroundings and comfortable within the school and his family,” added Savage. “He’s got a lot of good direction and a lot of support. That shows on the basketball court with the way he carries himself. He’s been the rock of our team this year.”
Richardson and the Sandites will take part in the 6A Boys East Area Championship this weekend in Catoosa. YurView, Cox channel 3 will broadcast two elimination games starting at 6:30pm, on Saturday, March 7, 2020. These Ford Games of the Week will also be streamed live on www.yurview.com.