GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- It's the top of the mountain for a college basketball player. One of the metro’s stars will tackle the challenge of March Madness and the NCAA Basketball Tournament, facing off with one of the nation's top programs.
March Madness is here for the Kansas Jayhawks, and when KU, the tournament’s top seed overall, opens its run at the national championship, they'll square off with a Grandview High School graduate.
Dreams know no limits. People who best known Grandview graduate Khalil Davis say that's why he's achieving as a college basketball player. On Thursday afternoon, Davis and his fellow Austin Peay Governors will meet Kansas (30-4) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I told my son, you have nothing to lose. We're the number 16 seed playing against a number one seed,” Tyrone Davis, Khalil’s father, said.
“It might be a longshot, but Tyrone Davis is still beaming with pride. Tyrone is a former K-State Wildcat, having made the NCAA Tournament once in his own right.
“The first thing that went through my mind was what if we have KU? Wouldn't that be great?” Tyrone Davis said.
Khalil's ticket to the tournament was punched when his Austin Peay club (18-17) won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament last week. The Governors had to win in order to make the big dance.
“Once I found out we won, I literally was in tears,” Davis said. “It was so surreal.”
On Wednesday morning, Tyrone and Khalil's mother, Marquita Davis, will head for Des Moines, hoping to see their son record an upset over the Jayhawks. They've watched Khalil rise from Grandview High to lead his college club in assists (2.7 apg.)
“This why you put in all those conditioning hours,” Reggie Morris, Grandview High Head Coach said.
Morris, in his second year as Bulldogs coach, has been a driving force for Khalil. Morris has been a member of Grandview High's coaching staff for 10 years. The former college player at Creighton has helped foster Davis' willingness to work.
“It shows some of my kids who are still in the program that if you keep working and striving, your blessings and your goals in life, dreams can come to reality,” Morris said.
The Davis family's success may continue a ways further. Older brother, Ronnie Boggs, played on a scholarship at Jacksonville State, and Khalil's younger brother, Tyrese Davis is still an underclassman at Grandview where his hard work continues.
Austin Peay will meet up with KU this Thursday afternoon. That game is due to tip off at 3 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
REPORTER'S NOTE -- video from the Austin Peay State University sports information department was used in this story. We appreciate the use of their images in completing this local story.