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Highly successful at St. Paul and Gervais, Davidson achieves childhood goal of playing college ball

COURTESY PHOTO - St. Paul alumna Mary Davidson signs with Linn-Benton Community Colleges women's basketball team. From left: St. Paul girls basketball coach Dave Matlock, Mary Davidson, St. Pauls athletic director Tony Smith. ST. PAUL — While one chapter closes, another opens. For St. Paul and Gervais alumna Mary Davidson, that chapter includes making the jump into college athletics.

On June 11, Davidson signed with Linn-Benton Community College's women's basketball team, joining a team that went 4-6 in the 2020-21 season with seven cancellations or postponements along the way. Putting her name on the dotted line was fulfilling a goal that had been set years ago, according to Davidson.

"It feels pretty cool," Davidson said. "Especially because … it's always been my goal since I was in middle school, and that's when I really started to like basketball. (I wanted) to play at the next level."

Davidson leaves behind a successful career with two separate teams. Before she transferred to St. Paul her junior year, Davidson played her first two season at Gervais and helped compile a combined record of 32-20 in that time. As a junior and senior with the Bucks, she helped lead the team to a state championship berth in the 2019-20 season, and a combined record in that time of 36-4.

While her last season was drastically shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Davidson leaves behind a young, promising team. St. Paul girls' basketball coach Dave Matlock had nothing but praise for his lone senior and the impact she had on her younger teammates and the team's performance this year.

"We called her the mother hen on the team because she was the only senior we had on the team," Matlock said. "She was the big-time leader of that, (and) she averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds for us through these 10 games this spring. And so that was a huge shot in the arm for us. But I think she's going to take that to the next level. I think (she'll) be an impact player for (LBCC) in those ways."

Davidson will be dual enrolled at both LBCC and Oregon State University studying agricultural science, and plans to focus on school over basketball. The education will last longer than the basketball will, she said.

"I'm just going to take it one season at a time," Davidson said. "I really want to just focus on each season because I don't really know which one is going to be my last. I definitely want to put my education first before athletics just because I know that athletics isn't always going to be here for me and I've learned a lot from it and I am excited to see where life takes me after that, but in the meantime I'm just going to keep pushing myself and work to be my best."

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