Star players Dee Dee Davis and Emily Lapointe will be leaving Manhattan College for their final year of eligibility after spending five and four years, respectively. GOJASPERS / COURTESY
By Kyla Guilfoil, Managing Editor & Sports Editor
Star players Dee Dee Davis and Emily Lapointe will be leaving Manhattan College for their final year of eligibility after spending five and four years, respectively, on the Jaspers’ women’s basketball team. The announcement of their decision to enter the transfer portal came just days after the Jaspers lost in the MAAC championship final for the second year in a row.
Davis told The Quadrangle that she was not sure about her decision until the end of the tournament. She wasn’t sure until the last few months that she would even be using her final year of eligibility.
Davis has an additional two years of eligibility beyond the guaranteed four due to a red-shirt year and the COVID year granted to NCAA athletes who were on the roster during the 2020-2021 school year.
Davis said that her fiance’s mother was ill, and her main focus was being able to be around her family. Because of the travel and the time commitment that comes with being a D1 player, Davis wasn’t sure that another year of basketball would fit into her commitment to her soon-to-be mother-in-law and family.
However, Davis said that her fiance’s mother passed away in December. As Davis navigated grieving, she began to talk through some options with Jasper’s head coach, Heather Vulin.
Davis said that alongside her fiance’s mother, Vulin has been a mother figure to her over the last few years. Davis told The Quadrangle that Vulin has supported her move to the transfer portal and has helped her in the recruiting process thus far.
LaPointe also said that Vulin has been understanding of her decision to enter the portal. LaPointe will be going on to use her fifth year of eligibility granted due to COVID.
Vulin did not respond to The Quadrangle’s request for comment on Davis or LaPointe’s decisions to transfer.
LaPointe told The Quadrangle that she was set on looking for a new opportunity next year by the time her senior season kicked off with the Jaspers. However, she emphasized that her focus throughout the season was to focus on the MAAC Championship, so she decided not to make any announcements until after the season concluded.
“My main goal was to win a championship, which we came pretty close to, but unfortunately, fell short again,” LaPointe said. “But that was my goal, so I just kind of knew going into the season that I wanted to just do whatever I could do to be impactful in any way to help get us to a championship game, which we did, we got there.”
Both Davis and LaPointe told The Quadrangle that a major factor in their decision to transfer was their search for further education.
Davis, who received a B.A. in sociology and is currently working towards an M.A. in Organizational Leadership at MC, said that the main push for her transfer was academics.
“I’d love to have two Master’s [degrees] because I think that education is elevation,” Davis said. “I’ve been presented with the opportunity to have my entire coaching staff’s blessing on going somewhere to pursue that dream of getting another degree from another institution, but just from a level above.”
Davis plans to pursue a Master’s degree somewhere in the field of business.
LaPointe will receive a Bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy in May and is planning to pursue a graduate degree in that field wherever she transfers to. She said that MC has one of three radiation therapy programs in New York state, and she is grateful for the education she has received thus far.
“It’s been special to be at a place for four years and to get a degree from Manhattan,” LaPointe said. “I don’t think I would have wanted a degree elsewhere. I had the ability to perform on the court and also in the classroom. I wasn’t in the easiest major, so I’m just really blessed and thankful that I had a coaching staff that supported my academics as well.”
Davis and LaPointe both said that their commitment to the Jaspers over the last five and four years, respectively, shows loyalty and love to Manhattan.
Davis explained that following an ACL injury at the end of her high school career, she had lost all offers to play D1 basketball. But, after a push from her high school coach, Manhattan decided to give Davis a chance.
“For me, loyalty is very important in coming into college,” Davis told The Quadrangle. “By the grace of God, [MC] recruited me…and I’ve had an amazing career. But we’ve always thought that that career will be four or five years, you know, it’s very, very rare for a player to get a sixth year and for students to stay at the same place they’ve started at.”
Davis believes she has fulfilled what MC asked her for at her recruitment.
“I feel personally that I fulfilled all that I said I would do,” Davis said. “[The coaching staff and I] made lots of agreements and have had lots of conversations about just being by each other’s side, and I feel that I’ve done that, you know, it’s once again, it’s very, very rare for a player to stay at the same program for four years, better yet five.”
LaPointe also said that it is rare for a player to stay at one school for their entire undergraduate career, and she is grateful to have spent all four years on the Jasper squad.
“I feel really confident in the fact that I gave my all for my time here, that I was 100 percent loyal, and I gave 110 percent every time I stepped on the floor, and made a ton of experiences and a ton of memories,” LaPointe said.
Going forward, both players seem to be considering schools with bigger student bodies than Manhattan.
Davis told The Quadrangle some of her top choices include UC Berkeley, Clemson University, Duquesne University and Stony Brook University, among others. Davis said that she can not give a single top choice just yet as she is still discussing opportunities with several institutions and wants to make sure she knows all of her options.
LaPointe did not disclose any specific schools in which she is interested yet but did share that she is looking for something outside of New York and in a warmer climate.
Despite the excitement and a commitment to spend their final year of play at a different school, Davis and LaPointe expressed gratitude for their time at MC.
“I know it sounds cliche, but once a Jasper 100 percent always a Jasper,” Davis said. “I get that when people enter the transfer portal, there’s usually some animosity towards the old school or there’s some hatred or negative connotations, and I get that, you know, everybody has their own reasons, but that’s just not my experience. [MC] has been nothing but love to me, and it’s nothing but love for me to Manhattan.”
LaPointe also leaves MC with positive memories.
“I met some of my best friends here that will be my best friends for life,” LaPointe said. “I think that just reflecting on I am really, really appreciative and grateful. I think what’s really special about Manhattan, because it is pretty small, is that you can connect with other sports and other students…I think we have a really special community, so I wouldn’t have wanted to want it to be anywhere else for four years.”