Character was just as important to Aces when drafting Davis

Las Vegas Aces GM Natalie Williams said character was just as important as talent when it came to drafting Brittany Davis.

LAS VEGAS — The last time Brittany Davis was in Las Vegas, her AAU team went undefeated to win a tournament.

The sharpshooter from Alabama is hoping to bring some of that magic back to town as she prepares to open training camp with the defending WNBA champion Aces.

“She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “She’s relentless beyond and above practice.”

And that’s a good thing, considering the transition from Curry to Becky Hammon, who needed just one year to lift the Aces to the top of the WNBA.

Davis, Curry and Aces general manager Natalie Williams spoke Wednesday during a Zoom session, as the defending champs introduced their lone draft pick from Monday’s draft in New York.

“We’re a pretty amazing group with the Aces,” Williams said. “Our goal is to do it all over again. We had a great opportunity … to watch Brittany throughout the college season and just very impressed with everything she did.”

Both on and off the court, apparently, as Williams said character is just as important as talent when it comes to scouting players to bring to Las Vegas.

“Obviously we look for talent, we look for someone who can compete in our training camp,” Williams said. “We’re all about character, we’re all about professionalism. We’re always looking at finding people who will fit in well with our amazing group. That was something I look at all year and across the country.

“There are a lot of kids I wouldn’t even look at. Brittany is definitely one who has high character. And we know that she’s got the work ethic and she will come in and compete and we’re really excited to have her.”

Curry said during her career, Davis would text the coaching staff at all hours, asking to be let in the gym for extra work, be it before practice, or on off days.

And because Davis offers a multi-dimensional role on offense – be it getting to the rim, hitting mid-range jumpers, or firing from 3-point range – Curry feels her former standout can fit in well with the Aces.

“I think she’s a perfect fit, especially with the situation with so many returnees and the depth and talent level already with that program,” Curry said. “I think she’s gonna come in with an open mind and tremendous work ethic ready to roll up her sleeves and go to work like she always has.”

Which is exactly what Davis said she’s ready to do.

“I worked hard for this moment and I feel that I deserved it, so I’m ready to get to work,” Davis said.

The two-time all-SEC selection who averaged 17.8 points per game as a graduate student for the Crimson Tide this past season said she spoke to several teams during a “long (pre-draft) process” and was pleased to hear her name called by the Aces, even if it was the final name in the draft.

“I was just trusting in God knowing he would lead me and take me where I need to be,” said Davis, who also grabbed 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists, while shooting at a 35.5 percent clip from 3-point range last season.

Davis credited becoming a mother to daughter Brielle for her growth as a person both on and off the court.

It’s something Curry acknowledged and came to appreciate as she watched Davis mature.

“The past two seasons, to see her realize that the game doesn’t define her there’s something more important now,” Curry said. “Having a baby girl, it’s bigger than basketball for her. But basketball is obviously an avenue for her to create a better world for baby Brielle.”

Said Davis: “Life has bumps and bruises and no matter what happens you gotta keep going and keep pushing to be the best person you can be. Brielle is my world and I would say that she has matured me in a lot of ways and made me a better player, a better mom, a better person.”

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