The Baylor players reacted like they had just won the Big 12 title.
But what they were really thrilled about was that teammate and former manager Jonathan Davis had been put on scholarship.
During an afternoon chapel service before No. 6 Baylor’s 72-69 win over Oklahoma State on Wednesday in Stillwater, coach Scott Drew had Davis read an article about how good of a teammate superstar Steph Curry was to the rest of the Golden State Warriors.
But as the sophomore got near the end of the story about sacrifice and service, Davis read the surprising words that he would receive a full scholarship.
The reaction of the Baylor players was priceless as they yelled and jumped on Davis, and showed how excited they were that he was put on scholarship for this season. The video of the event has gone viral.
“I was shocked,” Davis said. “I went silent because I couldn’t believe the words I just read. Then my teammates jumped on me. That was awesome. I can’t explain why that is, but we’re a very tight family. Each of us treasures each guy on the team.”
The 6-6 Davis enjoyed a solid career at Argyle High School, making all-state as a senior in 2014-15 when he averaged 15.1 points and 8.1 rebounds.
He got a scholarship offer from Trinity University in San Antonio and received some last-minute interest from Texas State. But by that time, he had already decided to attend Baylor.
“Texas State wanted me and was going to start talking to me about a scholarship, but I didn’t get into details because I was going to Baylor,” Davis said. “I never thought God wanted me somewhere other than Baylor.”
When he arrived on campus, Davis’ main role was as manager of the men’s basketball team. But after he began playing pickup games with the Baylor players, the coaches put him on the team’s roster in November 2015 as the season began.
He spent much of his time last season playing on the scout team during practice last year, but didn’t suit up for games. The Bears were impressed how he stood his ground against bruising forward Rico Gathers, now a tight end for the Dallas Cowboys.
“Rico’s big and doesn’t really care about hitting people,” said Baylor sophomore guard Jake Lindsey. “He hit Jonathan a couple of times and I thought, ‘Lord, that looked like it hurt.’ But he wouldn’t even flinch.”
Davis has scored 14 points in 10 games this season in mopup time at the end of games, but Drew likes the spirit and work ethic he brings to practice every day.
Drew and his coaching staff cooked up the idea of Davis making his surprise scholarship announcement before the rest of the team.
“Seeing how his teammates respond will tell you all you need to know about how much they care about him and appreciate him,” Drew said. “He had no idea anything like that was coming. It was pretty exciting. From a coaching standpoint, when you see your team get that excited and emotional, it’s always a great thing.”