Athlete of the Week: Kevin Davet on competing against his brother, being tall and wanting to get back on the court

Josh Shapiro | Senior Sports Editor

Kevin Davet is a sophomore center for the Washington University men’s basketball team. In addition to being a freakishly tall (6-feet, 10-inches) and effective big man for the Bears, Davet also studies Computer Science and cognitive neuroscience. Davet sat down with Student Life to talk about his journey to Wash. U. and his goals for this most unusual of seasons.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Student Life: How has restarting practices amidst this pandemic been different from last year’s winter season?

Kevin Davet: It’s definitely been very different from last year, especially when you start off the season. From my experience [in] freshman year, we would have two-and-a-half hour practices going over our entire offense, have all the guys there and get to know people. But this year, it’s a little different. We weren’t necessarily allowed to go to the gym at the start of the year. We had trouble getting in the weight room. Even now, we only have eight guys in each group for practice. Not having your whole team there is very different from what we had last year. So yeah, it’s definitely an adjustment, but at the same time, it’s just good being back together with everyone.

Courtesy of Becca Tarter

Even though Wash. U. was his first choice, Davet had to wait to hear back from MIT before committing to play for the Bears. “I’m glad that Wash. U. worked out, and I couldn’t be happier,” he said.

SL: Let’s back up for a minute. Your brother plays for Emory [University] basketball. Is it weird competing against your brother, or are you used to it by this point?

KD: Actually, it was kind of funny. It felt a lot like in high school, when we would play in an open gym against each other, or even in the backyard when we were younger. It felt sort of like that, being on different teams and all. It was definitely weird being at different schools and trying to beat each other. Usually it wasn’t really for anything when we played each other, just bragging rights, but this time it went on a schedule. So yeah, it was a little bit different in that aspect.

SL: Was there a big sibling rivalry growing up?

KD: Oh, he always beat me. I won very few one-on-one games we played in the backyard. As I got older and a little bit bigger than him, I was able to take him inside a little more. But still, he was definitely an older brother in that aspect of just beating up on the younger one.

SL: How did you end up at Wash. U.? 

KD: If I’m being totally honest, I liked Wash. U. the most of any school I went to. The thing was, I committed to [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] pretty early, and didn’t find out until April that I didn’t get in there. At that point, I was kind of in a scramble to contact [Bears’ head coach Pat Juckem], because Wash. U. was technically my first choice, but on paper was my second choice. If I didn’t get into Wash. U., my next choice would have been Emory. I would have played there with my brother. But yeah, I’m glad that Wash. U. worked out, and I couldn’t be happier.

SL: How does it feel to be so tall?

KD: I feel like I’m almost too used to it. Being this tall all my life, I’ve had people come up and ask me, “How tall are you? Do you play basketball? Is it hard to fit through doorways?” You know, all the standard tall people questions. At this point, it’s just part of my daily life. I mean, I have hit my head on doorways before, especially when there’s a crowd of people around you. It’s a little embarrassing just bonking your head on the doorway in front of them. But it’s also kind of funny.

SL: Have you picked up any pandemic hobbies?

KD: When we first got into quarantine, I tried to start playing the piano. That didn’t last very long. I found out very quickly I didn’t have the finger dexterity that I thought I did. So I dropped that pretty quickly, but I’ve been reading a little bit more than I usually did. I’ve also been using our George Foreman grill, and I’ve just been cooking stuff like chicken. Nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done. 

SL: How has your game evolved over time?

KD: So as far as I remember, most all my grade school years, I didn’t leave the block. So I wasn’t allowed to take it out to the wing like most bigs you see nowadays are encouraged to do. When I was growing up, that just wasn’t really a thing. As I got older, even in high school, I started moving out a little bit more towards the perimeter, or even the high post and all that. And ever since coming to college, I’ve been working on developing more of a mid-range game. Maybe one day, I’ll even be working on perimeter pick-and-pop kind of actions and long-range threes.

SL: Has your goal for this season changed, either on a personal or team basis?

KD: For this season, I think one of the main things I want to do is get on the floor with all my teammates. You know, we haven’t had that since last year when we got called off in the Sweet 16. I think we just all want to get back out there. Even just run practice together with the whole squad—that would really mean a lot to all of us. So any chance that we can get to make that happen would be the ultimate goal for the season.




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