Aug. 2, 2013
By Mercedes Linton
When senior women's basketball player Peyton Davis takes the court this season, she will have the ability to call herself something that few others she will face can: Graduate. Davis will set herself apart from the pack Saturday as she crosses the stage in Auburn Arena to pick up her degree.
"It feels weird because I am graduating, but I still have to go to school in the fall and spring," says Davis. "I had the opportunity to finish in just a little more than three years, so I still have a whole year of eligibility left."
Davis is excited for what her future holds. She plans on working towards taking courses in fitness and conditioning in the fall and will take the GRE in September. She then plans to work on her master's degree at Auburn in the spring.
Since she has completed one goal with school, Davis now wants to concentrate on other personal goals with basketball.
"Now that I have my degree, basketball kind of comes first," said Davis. "I want to take some time to focus on basketball and finish up this year really strong and work on some personal improvements."
After completing her master's, Davis hopes to play professionally in the WNBA or overseas for a couple of years. Then she will return to attend Physical Therapy School. After spending so much time around sports, Davis wants to continue her work with it.
"I want to work with a team," said Davis. "My reasoning behind it is that I would be to stay with sports; I cannot imagine my life without it."
An early graduation was not Davis's plan. As a student-athlete, she has managed a busy schedule during her time on The Plains. For the fall and spring semesters, Davis has taken 18 hours and six to nine hours during summer semesters. "I came in thinking it would take four-and-a-half, maybe five years," Davis said. "I worked right through it. I wish I would not have because my GPA is not as high as I would want it to be because I had so much going on."
Between basketball and having a full class load every semester, including summer semesters, she credits her success to time management.
"It's a lot of time management," she said. "Learning how to do your homework on the road or studying the night before a game, it takes some getting used to. I play basketball, go home, eat, study and sleep."
It is important to have a great support system and Davis is very grateful for hers. She thanks her family, friends, coaches, teammates and the staff of the Auburn Student-Athlete Development Center for always supporting her and being there.
"My family is great," she said. "I can call my mom at any hour and she will answer the phone. I can also talk to the coaches about anything."
Davis is also ready for the upcoming season. After seeing limited time in her first two years at Auburn, she stepped up into a starting role last year and made a big impact on the team. She started all 34 games, averaging 6.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while helping the Tigers to the quarterfinals of the 2013 Women's NIT.
"I am really excited about the team and all the new girls coming in," Davis said. "Going through workouts and conditioning this summer was great and we have a lot of momentum going into the year. This will be our second year in Coach Flo's system and it definitely looks promising."
Growing up in an Auburn family, having the opportunity to get her AU degree and be a part of the greater "Auburn Family" is something that means a lot to Davis.
"I love Auburn. To me, `War Eagle' means there is a certain pride or a certain understanding between every Auburn fan who says it. You go for the same team and you have the same beliefs. You work hard and become the best person you can be."