5 Things We Love About Mo'ne Davis
The 13-year old baseball prodigy—she's the first girl to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history—was recently honored by celebs like Nate Berkus, Sandra Bernhard and Gretchen Mol at the annual Up2Us Sports Gala in NYC (sponsors include ESPN, NYDG Foundation and the NBA), a charity that pairs at-risk youth with sports coaches. To donate to the cause, click here. Here are a few things we adore about the young athlete.
1. She's talented. See above. She's also the first African-American girl to play in the Little League World Series, pitches at 70 mph fastball and was named Sports Illustrated's "Sports Kid of the Year" in 2014. "I love this girl, she is so cool," says Bernhard. "And she obviously has great support at home because she seems like she has a great head on her shoulders."
2. She's forgiving. After Bloomsburg University baseball player Joey Casselberry called her a "slut" on Twitter and was subsequently dismissed from the team, Davis emailed the university's president and asked for Casselberry to be reinstated. "I am sure Joey Casselberry has worked very hard to get where he is and dreams of playing in the major leagues," she wrote. "For this reason, I'm asking you to please allow him back on the team so that he can continue to chase his dream."
3. She respects her elders. "I wouldn't be Mo'ne Davis here tonight if it weren't for my coach [Steve Bandura, who was also honored at the Up2Us Sports Gala]," says Davis. "He is a good guy overall and he is just a great coach. Not just hitting and pitching tips, but sports tips in general. And my mom. She gave me motivation. And even though she's not the most intense sports fan, she allowed me to keep going back and playing."
4. She's movie material. Disney Channel is developing a biopic on Davis called Throw Like Mo. This is in addition to the Spike Lee-directed Chevrolet ad I Throw Like A Girl, which was released last year.
5. She's already building her legacy. By her participation with Up2Us Sports, Davis hopes to give other girls the opportunities that she's had. "She proves that a coach can help empower a girl from a low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia to fulfill her dreams," says Up2Us Sports founder and CEO Paul Caccamo. "In a time when youth sports programs are being cut, it takes a figure like Mo'ne to show what sports can do for girls' self-esteem, confidence and ability to set future goals."