“Two boys pitching back and forth to one another and I overhear one of them say ‘I’m Mo’Ne.’ And the other one says ‘No, I’m Mo’Ne.’ We all know that girls aspire to be Mo’Ne but here are two boys talking about what it is to be Mo’Ne and to pitch and perform on that level. And it was so cool, I was so tickled by that.”
This is just one of the stories, City Council Constituent Services Representative, Duwayne Terry told Spike Lee as he was conducting interviews for his Chevrolet produced documentary about Mo’Ne Davis, called I Throw Like A Girl.
Mo’Ne Davis captured the nation’s attention a few months ago when at thirteen-years-old, she pitched a new hitter in the Little League World Series, throwing at 70 miles per hour. And while she gained notoriety for her success in baseball, Mo’Ne’s favorite sport is basketball. One of her coaches, who first noticed her throwing perfect spirals with a football at seven years old, said she can see the court like a chess board.
And that mental focus and skill doesn’t just exist in her athletic endeavors. In second grade, Mo’Ne left a south Philadelphia public school and moved to a private school where she’s been on the honor roll every year from second to eighth grade.
You might think such a successful child must be intense, especially with all the increased media attention and fame. But that’s not exactly the case. Instead, Mo’Ne says, “I don’t actually think about it. I’m not that serious. For sports, we’re always laughing on the bench. If you watch any of our games, you always see one person laughing.”
Spike Lee interrupts: “Whoa, whoa hold up, hold up. You’re not serious about sports?”
“I’m serious but it’s not all about being serious and it’s not all about being the best. I mean, you always have to laugh. You’re still a kid and you’re always going to laugh.”
What Mo’Ne does for fun changed the sports conversation and eventually earned her a cover on Sport Illustrated.
Albert Chen, the author of the cover story said, “13-year-old Mo’Ne Davis, from Springside Academy, bumped Kobe Bryant, NBA MVP, off the national cover of Sports Illustrated. In one week goes from a complete unknown to a curiosity in the sports world, to a national sensation. That’s a first in American sports.”
Mo’Ne doesn’t necessarily see it that way. She wasn’t exactly thrilled about that particular cover photo.
“Just to see my face on here is pretty cool, but not the face that I’m picking.”
Spike Lee: “You don’t like your face on the cover?”
“I mean, I look like a blowfish but otherwise, it’s pretty cool. You can see how much power I put into it.”
Everyone, from her coaches, to her peers to her mother say despite all the attention she’s received, Mo’Ne is the same young woman she’s always been. Her mother, Lakeisha said, “Mo’Ne is grounded, when she’s on the field, when she’s off the field, playing basketball. Mo’Ne is just going to be Mo’Ne. Mo’Ne’s very humble. And as you can see, nothing bothers Mo’Ne. So Mo’Ne’s going to always be that respectful, polite humble child no matter how much this media is attacking her or how much this media want to take pictures, that’s just going to always be Mo’Ne.”
You can watch the full, short documentary in the video below.