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Q & A with Damien Davis

Damien Davis, a senior defenseman on one of the most dominant programs in collegiate athletics, was named a preseason first-team All-America for the upcoming 2003 season. He has started every game of his career and already has a National Championship under his belt.

Tell us a little bit about your background, where you are from, what your major is and how you came to the Ivy League.

I am from Baltimore, Md. I grew playing lacrosse in Baltimore. It was in my junior year of high school, when Coach Tierney began recruiting me. I became interested in playing at Princeton then. I am a Psychology major at Princeton.

Was there a time when you thought, "Hey, I could go to an Ivy League school" or was that always in your mind?

I never really though about the Ivy League until some of the coaches started to talk to me about playing there.

What perceptions did you have about the Ivy League when you first arrived?

That it would be a challenge academically.

How have those perceptions met with reality?

I was right.

What about going to an Ivy League school most appealed to you?

The high level of academics and athletics that was offered to me.

As an African-American, what experiences have stood out to you about adjusting to college in the Ivy League?

Seeing the diversity among African-Americans students when I arrived in the Ivy League is something that stood out. I grew up in a small town where most of the people were just like me.

Since you've been in college, what have been some of the most memorable moments for you as an athlete and a student?

Winning a National Championship. Finishing my JP.

What historical figure do you admire most and why?

It is hard to pick just one figure. So many historical figures made sacrifices to improve the U.S. for African-Americans. As a result, I am allowed to attend a school like Princeton. Fifty years ago, things would be very different.

Who had the biggest influence on you as you grew up? Why?

My parents. They always made sure I was doing the right thing.

In an age of ultra-glorification of athletes and sports, what would be the best advice you could give to a middle schooler about the value of education, and the best role for sports in their education?

Education is necessary to be successful in life. With good grades, sports can get you into the best schools in the country.

What would be the best advice you could give to a young African-American who has aspirations to attend an Ivy institution?

Make yourself stand out as a individual that can bring something special to the school. Be a stand out in as many activities as you can. And always keep in mind above anything else, that you have to have the right grades to get accepted to an Ivy League school.

***Please note, this story was written for a previous Ivy League Black History Month celebration. It is reproduced here for archival purposes and has not been updated.***