A day in the life of a Spartan basketball player


Sloan Huebner

Davon Barnes looks to pass in a game against rival Whitehaven. As the starting small forward for the Varsity basketball team, Barnes has many responsibilities both on and off the court.

It’s 5:30 a.m. It’s dark. It’s quiet. Then, a familiar buzz interrupts the serenity of Davon Barnes’s room. It’s his mom, calling to wake him up. He slides out of bed, looks himself in the mirror, and tells himself the personal creed that he starts everyday with: “Today’s the day to show everybody what you’re about.”

And today is not just any day. Today is game day.

Davon Barnes is not your average student. Aside from the fact that he stands at 6’4, Barnes has to balance the responsibilities that come with being both a student and a varsity basketball player on a day-to-day basis.  

After his 5:30 wake-up, Barnes dresses and walks to his kitchen to eat breakfast. He sits down to a plate of eggs, bacon, sausage and toast, and washes it down with either orange juice or chocolate milk. He eats quick. It’s time to make the thirty minute trip to White Station.

Upon arriving, Barnes goes straight to the freshman building for his first period, Geometry with Mrs. Underwood. As fifth and sixth period go by, Davon’s favorite time of the day draws closer: basketball practice during seventh period.

Practice serves as Davon’s intermission in his everyday routine. It lasts from 1:25-4 p.m., all of which is dedicated to improving both individually and as a team.

“[We’re] scrimmaging, learning plays, getting better… anything that helps us get stronger,” Barnes said.

However, on gameday, practice serves a different purpose.

“We all go into the locker room and turn up, listen to music and dance, hype each other up and get ready for the game,” Barnes said.

Around 4:30, Barnes heads to the senior gym to watch the JV and women’s varsity games. He uses this time to relax and calm down before playing.  

Basketball has always held a special place in Barnes’ life. He’s played since he was little kid, and has made several friends through the sport.

“When you go into the basketball community, everybody knows each other,” Barnes said. “Everybody knows that. It’s basically like one big, separate community.”

Around 6:45, Davon heads out to the court with his teammates to warm-up. Fifteen minutes later, the climax of Davon Barnes’ day is here: game time. Playing on the varsity basketball team has provided Davon with a unique basketball experience this season.

“You get a lot of experience at such an early age and the teammates are fun to be around,” Barnes said. “Also the intensity of the games is great and everything just gets more important and hyped up.”

The refs blow their whistles and both teams’ starting lineups trot out for the tip-off. The two teams spend the next forty-eight minutes battling it out on the court. Some shots go in. Others don’t. Players from both sides give it their all until the final buzzer sounds, and a winner emerges.

When the game ends, Barnes talks to his teammates and then to his family that came to support him. After a few minutes, it’s time for Barnes to head home.

He’s had a long day, and he needs the rest. After all, tomorrow is the day to show everyone what he’s about.