There’s no grace in falling down, right? Why even bother standing up after being humiliated? You already lost — it’s over. Both men’s basketball player Tyler Carey and women’s basketball player Brianna Davis would disagree, as they both faced adversity in some form or another this season; yet they both earned All-Met Second Team honors from the highly-respected Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association when the season ended.
For Carey, this honor is one of a few he took home after his last collegiate season came to a close back in February. This honor was earned alongside becoming the all-time program leader in career blocks and, most notably, being named the East Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year — only the third Knight to ever win that award and the first under the watch of men’s basketball Head Coach Matthew Collier.
“Now that Tyler has exhausted his eligibility I don’t mind sharing that he is one of my favorite players that I have ever coached. First and foremost, as a person he has a huge heart, a fighting spirit, and a great sense of humor which I will miss being around everyday,” Coach Collier said. “I was honored to coach Tyler and witness his growth, development, and the work he put in to become a standout player as he set goals of earning Defensive Player of the Year as well as All-ECC honors and he achieved both as a senior.”
Describing how his assistant coach in high school used to play zone whenever Carey was subbed into the game because he ‘couldn’t really play defense,’ Carey recalled many times he fell down. This included a time where he was at his ‘lowest’ as he wasn’t getting any playing time his freshman year in college and ended up quitting the team. None of that mentions the fact he’s an undersized collegiate center, standing at only 6’5” tall — nearly two and a half inches under the national average according to the Next College Student Athlete organization. However, he noted how all that negativity in the beginning of his career made the honors he earned this season all the more sweeter, “With all that being said, I’m grateful for it all because it put a fire under me. The journey has been rocky, but it truly makes me value my achievements even more,” Carey said.
While Carey is on his way out after firmly leaving his mark on the program in two seasons with the Knights, Brianna Davis is only just arriving in Flushing. In her first collegiate season, Davis won ECC Rookie of the Year after showcasing her ability to be an all-around player for women’s basketball Head Coach Elizabeth “Bet” Naumovski.
“First and foremost, Bri has high standards both as a student and athlete. She does not accept anything less than what she is capable of,” Coach Naumovski said. “Bri is tremendously athletic, she is not afraid of the moment, has a high IQ, learns quickly and is very coachable. As a basketball player she is driven and tremendously gifted. She can score at all three levels and is just an absolute natural at the game.”
Davis turned up her play a couple notches later in the season, as she scored double digits in the last 11 games of the season after doing so only three times in her previous 16 appearances. During those 11 games, she took home four out of a possible five ECC Rookie of the Week awards, and ended the season top ten in total points, rebounds, steals and just outside of the top ten in blocks in the ECC.
“It is an honor to receive these awards after having a rough start. These awards prove that it’s not about the way you start it’s about the way you finish,” Davis said. “It just motivates me to be even better next season. I’m thankful for the coaches and my teammates pushing me to become the player I am today.”
While Carey is hanging up his jersey and looking towards the professional scene, his fantastic career as a Knight was capped off by this All-Met nod. The same could be said about Davis, except she has three more years of eligibility to continue her stellar career.
“Bri can have a notable career here at Queens. My goal for her is to graduate with a high GPA, score 1,000 points, become a First Team All-Conference player and a candidate for Conference Player of the Year. She is certainly capable of all those things with continued work and persistence,” Coach Naumovski said.
All of those are not out of the question for Davis, as she has proven her ability without a doubt to everyone. Nonetheless, this All-Met nod is a great way to end Davis’ freshman year. The same can be said about Carey except, again, this was his final year. However, Carey’s advice of ‘at the end of the day, you can make excuses or you can build motivation’ could be taken into consideration by Davis and any other player moving forward.
Both Carey and Davis made their coaches and peers proud with their play on the court this year, and it’s only fitting that they got one last final recognition before they continue to walk down their respective paths.