Remember the name Mo’Ne Davis, because this incredible athlete is only a stone’s throw away from stardom. The 13-year-old female pitcher from Philadelphia led her team to this year’s Little League World Series, throwing a three-hitter on Sunday in an 8-0 victory over a team from Delaware.
With a 70 mph fastball and equally impressive knuckleball, Mo’Ne will become only the 17th girl to play in the Little League World Series in its 68 year history. If that’s not enough, she’s an honor roll student at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, where she also has a starring role on the basketball and soccer teams.
Mo’Ne accepts nothing but greatness. “I always get my school work done first, and then I do sports,” Mo’Ne tells Ellen’s Good News. “If I don’t have sports, I’m at the baseball field or basketball courts playing with my teammates.”
If there’s any asset Mo’Ne has been endowed with, it’s drive -- whether that means grand slam hits into the stands or the will to be best at everything. Every day, the eighth-grader rides a bus an hour and a half each way from her home in inner city Philadelphia to the private school where she stays on top of both athletics and academics.
According to Tina O’Malley, Girls Athletic Director for the school, Mo’Ne is like no other.
“She’s amazing,” Tina says. “She’s the real deal, and I know. These kids don’t come along very often and I’ve never seen anything like her.”
Mo’Ne began playing sports when she was 4 years old, and was spotted by a kid’s baseball coach when she was 7. She took up the new activity, and has been playing with the boys every since. She currently plays on her school’s boys baseball team, as well as the Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League of Philadelphia, the latter of which begins their national championship games this Thursday in Williamsport, PA.
“My abilities are as good as any guy out there,” Mo’Ne says. “I really like [playing with boys]. It helps me get better at each sport I play because the boys are tough and it helps me get stronger when I play with them.”
Additionally, Mo'Ne has built up an arm that’s fire to any contender.
“I practice a lot and we play baseball all summer, so you get better each game you play. My arm just got stronger every since I first started pitching and through practicing the mechanics,” the teen explains.
While baseball may be Mo’Ne’s claim to fame at the moment, she’s actually more fond of basketball, and places high importance on academics in the hopes of going to college and eventually joining the WNBA. It’s a big reason why she spends three hours on the bus every day, hoping to make the grade as well as the shot clock.
“I don’t really mind it,” she explains. “My school is very good academically. I go there so I can get into a good college and I make good grades there.”
She adds, “For some little girls, I’m a role model for them and I don’t want to go on the wrong path.” Mo'Ne is a role model for more than just girls. This Thursday, she will take the plate along with her 11 male teammates, and challenge her competitors to defend what many other players cannot.
Mo’Ne says she’s excited about it all, that it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her, and that with her mom by her side she can handle anything.
“I don’t care if we win or lose,” Mo’Ne admits. “I just wanna go for the experience.”