Leonard Davis: Moving on From Basketball to Something Greater

Sophomore Leonard Davis has been in college just a short while, but he has already made a great change in his life. The Colorado native has decided to stop playing basketball, the game that he loves, in order to pursue other opportunities. He was adamant in saying that it was not due to the environment here at Ithaca College, but more so just to move on to a new chapter in his life.

Davis had to spend much of his time playing, and practicing for IC’s school team, and the sacrifice of time just was not worth it anymore. This came as a shock to his friends, as not many people saw this change coming. Davis’ friend, junior Shai Ben-Dor, stated that he “was surprised when he quit basketball. I didn’t see it coming but Lenny has a drive to succeed, no matter what he does.”

Leonard Davis has not lost his high level of commitment, however, he is using that approach for something greater. He talked bout he really did not appreciate the stereotypes associated with what  people thought of him, and wanted to be more than just a basketball player. “Most people look and say he’s the basketball player. The only reason why he’s here is because of basketball. Yeah, I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, and it’s time to change the culture in which people of my color become successful.”

Davis is taking his passion and dedication, and now focusing solely on school work and business. He spoke about how he stumbled into the business realm through a sustainability competition through Ithaca College’s Business School, and has been interested ever since.

Davis came across this sustainability competition during his freshman year, and decided to give it a shot. Though most of his competitors featured teams of 2 or 3, he went at it alone. Davis promoted the idea of opening a Red Mango Smoothie place here in Ithaca, and spoke about how it could thrive in this community. He had to present his idea, and it was his first time being in front of a crowd. He continued to say that the judges were “blown away.” They were impressed by how comfortable he was taking on such a tough task alone, and his “ability to just be (him)self and present an idea that (he) believed in.” He took third place in the competition, received some financial reward, and he did not wish to stop there. The positive results caused Davis to ignite a belief in himself that he had not expressed beforehand. Davis’ housemate, junior Larkin Bohanan, is on board with the change of focus. “He’s very determined and confident with his decision. He found a focus he would rather pursue which I think is great!”

For this current semester, there was another competition being offered by the business school, and Davis felt compelled to take part in it. This time, there was a lot more free range with little restrictions in place. His idea was to create an interactive haunted experience called Fear Walk. He presented the idea he was so passionate about, once again by himself against small groups, and took second place in the competition. That result really led to a change of heart, and he began to realize exactly what he was doing. “All of the social norms and portrayals that had been placed on me, without my allowing it, became irrelevant.”


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