Little League sensation Mo’ne Davis did not undermine her amateur status or her NCAA eligibility by appearing in a commercial for Chevrolet aired on Tuesday’s World Series game between the Giants and the Royals.
The commercial, directed by Spike Lee, celebrated 13-year-old Davis’s spectacular achievements this summer when she became the first female to pitch a shutout in a Little League World Series. The 60-second commercial culminated with “Chevrolet celebrates Mo’ne Davis and those who remind us that anything is possible.”
Mo’ne Davis became an overnight marvel this year when Little League World Series fans witnessed her throwing 70-miles-per-hour fastballs, while the average velocity in her age class is in the high 50-miles-per-hour to low 60-miles-per-hour range.
According to a Sports Science clip on ESPN, Davis’ fastball allows opposing hitters the same reaction time at the plate as a major leaguer would need for a 91 mph pitch. Given that most Little League batting cages max at 80 mph, it renders most of her opponents unprepared.
ESPN reported in January that the NCAA Division I membership expanded eligibility standards and addressed Davis’s ability to be paid for doing the commercial: “This waiver narrowly extends the rules — which allow Davis to accept the payment and still be eligible in any other sport — to include baseball. The NCAA staff also considered the historically limited opportunities for women to participate in professional baseball. In addition, Davis is much younger than when the vast majority of the prospect rules apply. While this situation is unusual, the flexible approach utilized in this decision is not.”
Spike Lee explained on a WFAN radio show on Tuesday that the money Mo’ne received for doing the Chevy commercial “goes into a trust fund” and that it was appropriate for her to take advantage of her popularity and commercial earning power before NCAA eligibility restrictions initiate in ninth grade.
Given her immense talents in baseball, it may come as a surprise to some that she is more interested in pursuing basketball when she gets to college. Davis informed ESPN back in August that her dream was to play women’s basketball for Geno Auriemma at the University of Connecticut.
“That’s like my dream and then go into the WNBA,” Davis said.
The U Conn coach was sanctioned after he called Davis and wished her good luck before one of her games in August. The penalty is yet to be determined but Auriemma is upset, insisting that he was not making a recruiting call. He contends that he had no idea she was “a superstar or could even reach the basket.”
If her hoop skills are anything close to her baseball ability, Davis who stands at 5’4″ and weighs 105 pounds, probably is already dunking the ball behind her back.