NEW HAVEN >> It took three school changes in the last three years, but junior guard Brooklin Davis is finally in a good spot. The guard left Hillhouse to distance herself from a grade-tampering scandal her freshman year, transferred out of North Haven after being bullied her sophomore year and is now happily at Career, with no plans of wearing another team’s jersey.
Davis is currently sitting out the first 10 games of the season, per CIAC transfer rules. She has been able to practice and is meshing with her teammates and classmates.
“They’re great people, and I can’t wait (to play)”, she said. “I’m counting down the amount of games I have to sit out.”
That count is at seven games, with Davis scheduled to return for a Jan. 21 road game at Guilford. Even though Davis is happy now, that was not the case in previous years. She said after starting with the Academics and playing alongside Bria Holmes in 2012, her parents thought it was best for her to transfer so she was not grouped in with the athletes involved in the grade-tampering scandal at the school. Davis’s name was never implicated.
“(My parents) just wanted me out of that environment,” she said.
She also said she wasn’t feeling challenged academically at Hillhouse. So the next stop for the soft-spoken wing was North Haven.
There things would get worse.
“When I got there, I could immediately see that I was the outcast,” Davis said.
She said the bullying began at the start of the school year. According to Davis, it did not slow down until the basketball season started. Even then, Davis said people still picked on her, but it was not as constant as it was prior to the season.
“In every class I would go in the bathroom and cry a little bit,” Davis reminisced. “Then get myself back together and finish out my school work.”
Davis said she did report one instance of bullying. Russell Dallai, North Haven High School Principal, said he could not confirm that she was bullied or the extent of the bullying because it would violate the privacy of the students. However, Dallai said the school takes bullying seriously.
“We tell (the students), ‘If you ever feel upset or anxious or somebody does or says something hurtful, to come to us immediately. Come to the principal or guidance counselor and we will stop what we’re doing and work on this with you,’” he said.
Davis said her North Haven teammates and coach Chris Barry treated her well, but during the season she had her mind set on leaving the school. Her parents told her to “stick it out” until the school year was over, but talk had already started to circulate that Davis could be on the move again.
“I heard rumors late last season that she wasn’t happy at North Haven,” said Career coach Steve Bethke. “That she may transfer and the next thing I know, she showed up at our door.”
Davis stuck it out, transferred and is now a Panther. She said she is excelling socially and academically with more challenging courses. She missed most of last season with an injury and will only play 10 regular-season games this season. However, Bethke said Davis is ready to play now.
“She’s a great talent and we’ve seen what she can do,” the coach said.
And Davis is just happy to be enjoying school again.
“Now I’m here, I’ve got friends and I’m getting the education I need,” Davis said, smiling.