CHATHAM, NJ - Joe Gaba is more than happy to sing the praises of Camryn Davies' basketball talents. The Chatham girls coach, however, jokes that he'd rather not hear the junior guard belt out any tunes.
"He asks the team, 'Would you rather have Camryn sing or dance?' and they politely say neither," Davies said. "I have no rhythm and no talent for singing, at all. I'm the worst in my family, too. At home, they turn off the radio. I sing anyway, sometimes when Gaba is mad at the team."
Gaba doesn't mind the off-key melodies of the junior guard because he values winning on the basketball court and Davies is all about that.
"The thing I really appreciate about Cam is that she will do whatever it takes to win," Gaba said. "She's a kid who doesn't really care about stats or how many shots she takes. She really just wants to win."
Through the first two games, Davies has been an offensive and defensive spark for the 1-1 Lady Cougars, sinking seven 3-pointers and averaging 11.5 points per game.
Camryn Davies is the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week.
A three-sport athlete, the 16-year-old decided not to play soccer this past fall and instead worked on her softball game, along with physical training and agility.
"I knew last year, I didn't take as many shots as I could have," Davies said. "I couldn't really hit shots in the fourth quarter because I was tired. I trained twice a week at Precision Sports and because of that I feel like I'm physically stronger. I'm a lot more ready for this season than I was last year."
It showed in the season opener when she drained five 3-point shots in a 53-52 loss to Newark Tech last Saturday. Still, what impresses Gaba is all the other contributions she makes on the court that add up to winning.
"You have to be around our program to realize all the little things she does to help us win," Gaba said. "Aside from her shooting, she's a great passer. She's also a great offensive rebounder for someone her size. If you watch our games, when one of our other guards is shooting, she's always coming in from the weak side. She never checks out. She assumes she's going to get the rebound."
Gaba is quite familiar with the entire Davies family. This is the third sibling he's coached, following in the footsteps of Kelsey and Kendall.
"She comes from a long line of really good basketball players," Gaba said. "She has basketball genes. I've been here for 20 years and I've known Camryn since she was a little kid. I've seen her grow up.
"Kelsey was a true point guard and she was on one of the best teams I ever coached. Tough as nails. A really good shooter and team leader. Kendall was a great shooter. Probably one of the best 3-point shooters who ever played here, with incredible range. Cam is like her own person. A really good shooter. Just really smart."
Of course, there was never any doubt Davies would turn into a shortstop on the softball team. Her mother, Alexis, coached the Chatham High team for 17 years, compiling a 275-160-1 record that included two state sectional titles.
"She grew up in a dugout," her father, Windsor, said. "I have this picture of the softball team and my other daughters are about sixth-grade age and there is little Camryn peeking from the side of the dugout. It's one of my favorite pictures of her."
Gaba isn't the only coach she has during the basketball season. Her mother is at every game and offers advice from time to time.
"Obviously, my mom coached me and I learned a lot from her and watching my sisters play," Camryn said. "It was fun to know that someday I would do the same things that they were doing."
Editor's note: The Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week is sponsored by the John Hawk Agency. John and his team have been protecting local families and business owners for over 12 years. Call them at 973-635-9494 for a new auto, home, life and business insurance quote this week and if you mention the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week they will make a $20 contribution to the Chatham Booster Club! To learn more, visit the agency website.