Mo’ne Davis, a South Philly native and Little League superstar, visited Temple for a book signing and a meet and greet at 7 p.m. last Wednesday.
Davis, a pitcher for the Taney Dragons gained national attention this past summer when she dominated the Little League World Series, becoming the first girl to seal a win as pitcher in the tournament’s history.
The event, “An Evening With Mo’ne Davis,” was sponsored by the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. The event was facilitated by two Temple graduates, Anthony Gilbert and Marcus Appolon.
Gilbert, a 2001 graduate, and Appolon, a 2011 graduate, co-own a sports marketing firm in the city. They worked with Spike Lee and Chevrolet in producing the short documentary on Davis that aired in October, titled “Throw Like a Girl.”
“[Spike Lee] called and said ‘I really want to work with this young lady,’” Gilbert said. “So we worked that out over the course of like four weeks and then went right into production.”
Davis recently co-authored a book, titled Mo’ne Davis: Remember my Name: From First Pitch to Game Changer, and Disney recently announced a biographical TV movie on the baseball star, titled “Throw Like Mo.”
Following her success in Williamsport, Pennsylvania Davis has experienced a flurry of media coverage and has appeared on SportsCenter, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the cover of Sports Illustrated, and every major news outlet. She also met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Davis’ mother, Lakeisha McLean, said the spreading of Davis’ success story as a girl in a male-dominated sport has been positive thing for young kids, especially girls involved in sports.
“I think the benefit is her inspiring other girls, because some girls have low self-esteem, and they might not want to try a sport due to other kids criticizing them,” McLean said. “So I think Mo’ne opened the doors for kids to try whatever they want to try.”
After Lee’s documentary was shown, Mo’ne fielded questions and met with fans to sign her newly published books.
“I was one of the two girls that were dominating against the guys, and people thought it was pretty cool that both of us held our ground,” Davis said.
Muhammad Ahmed is a junior at Temple and the Lt. Strategus and Community Service Co-Chair for Kappa Alpha Psi. He helped organize and run the event and said he feels it’s important that someone like Mo’ne be given a platform to share her story with kids in Philadelphia.
“She’s a product of Philadelphia, and she’s around the same age as some of these younger kids who need that sort of sense of direction, and seeing it from their own generation can inspire them to do great in whatever they do, and that was our main focus in this program,” he said.
Davis said she is aware of her position as an inspirational figure. Speaking to young athletes in general, and girls around her age specifically, she directed a few words of advice.
“Try your hardest at everything you do, don’t let anyone keep you down, and just have fun,” Davis said.
Colton Shaw can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.