By Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “Wonderful.”
Lakeisha McLean, Mo’ne Davis’ mom, is nearly speechless.
“She’s on the front cover, right?”
Oh yes. Her daughter, the Taney Dragon’s phenom pitcher, is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated.
Mo’ne Davis of Philadelphia, the girl who plays with the best of the boys. She is making sports history as the first little leaguer on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Davis’ mother says, “Every sport she’s played, baseball, basketball, soccer, she’s dominated. But I never thought in a million years she would get this much attention for baseball.”
She has received unbridled attention for her success as a Taney Dragon and her fierce pitching.
“It takes her about two or three innings to get to know the umpire’s strike zone. Once she gets that, it’s like I feel sorry for the other team. I feel bad.”
Lakeisha is beginning to feel nervous about tomorrow night’s semi-final game against Las Vegas, but as a mom she’s also concerned about her daughter at an impressionable age.
“I’m proud of Mo’ne. Words can’t explain how proud I am. I’m not scared. I’m more nervous for her. I believe Philadelphia knew about Mo’ne, but now the whole world knows about Mo’ne. I just want her to be a normal 13-year-old child.”
Tough to do when she’s a media star.
“She’s trying to cope with the situation. She’s still trying to enjoy herself. She doesn’t want the attention on herself.”
Mo’ne learned to play baseball at Marian Anderson Recreational Center and specifically learned to pitch from her coach Steve Bandura, who had texted Lakeisha about the SI cover.
“I never in a million years thought this whole thing would blow up like this.”
Mo’ne also hasn’t made her love for basketball and her dream of someday playing for the University of Connecticut a secret.
Despite her intense schedule, one phone call did get through. Connecticut’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma called to wish her well.
A prospect? I’d bet on it.
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