Jamelle Davis: Making Moves On The Basketball Court And Making Waves Through Artivism
From playing Basketball around the world to leading an organization directed at giving back to at-risk youth in Edmonton, AB, Canada, Jamelle Anthony Davis is an extremely talented athlete who has competed around the globe and is an artist who has helped raise awareness on important issues.
“If life has taught me one thing, it’s that you should always be yourself. Feel what you feel and live what you believe. Being bold isn’t about walking around with your chin high. It’s about believing in yourself and protecting your inner love.” – Jamelle Davis
Born in London, Jamelle went through some tough times and experiences growing up before moving to Canada at the age of 20. Experiences that have helped shape the man he is today and also inspired him to help youth who went through similar circumstances. Helping young people in Edmonton get through their challenges and stay on track, Jamelle’s community work has also seen him create outstanding, memorable and beautiful artwork that embodies Black culture along with breaking narratives of hate. Which he entitled “JD Art”.
Jamelle’s talent as an athlete has taken him around the world, playing key roles on teams in Canada, England, Italy, China, Germany, Austria and Norway. As well as, earning an opportunity to trial with the NBA G-League side Toronto Raptors 905 in 2019.
Before turning professional, Jamelle attended Olds College in Olds, Alberta, Canada. He would play 21 games for the Olds College Broncos Basketball during the 2016-17 season.
In his rookie season in Canada, a veteran teammate told him that “You work ridiculously hard, harder than anybody I’ve seen, but you’ve got to learn how to work smart.”
Not getting as much game time as he had hoped, Jamelle took on the advice and worked smart by focusing on improving himself in various game situations. From shooting to ball handling, even though that wasn’t his role on the team at the time.
He continued to do everything he could to get better in areas that he really didn’t need to for the team, however working hard on specifics on the court where during the plays he will get the ball was “working smart”.
Since then, he has come a long way as an athlete continuing to evolve his game. With great improvement on his skills, athleticism, and Basketball IQ. All of which has helped him grow as a leader on the court and into the best guard he can be for the team.
Liking to play the game by reading the defence, watching their movement, their feet and the defence behind his defender to make his decision. His trial with Toronto Raptors 905 helped him gain new ideas and a new mind set on the game. Even by sitting court side he was able to observe and see different situations play out in both offence and defence.
His third professional basketball season in 2019-20 would be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Playing in Austria for the Mattersburg Rocks in the Basketball Zweite Liga. They would finish the season as the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs.
As favourites to win the championship, Mattersburg Rocks swept their opponents in the first round. However, unfortunately their run to be crowned champions was taken from them. As the league would announce cancellation of the rest of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, thus there were no winners or losers.
Now with hopes and aspirations to get back to playing basketball once again, Jamelle now has the experience, growth and development on his side.
Jamelle’s talents off the court has also been rewarding for him and brought great success in many ways.
Deciding to take up his love and passion for art and creation. He chose to showcase his artistic abilities through works of artivism.
His work sheds light on love and peace, showing appreciation of oneself, of others and of all, and portrays willingness to be bold with emotions through bright colours and/or abstract techniques.
Each creation shows his real love and passion. As a self-taught artist it made it easier for Jamelle to find his message within his work, with motivation coming from his own personal goals as a human and as an artist. Each of his work has been made and is for sale as framed prints, clothing, footwear, and also takes requests for custom made work.
His dedication has seen him work with well known brands such as Foot locker and Converse. Where he was asked to customise a pair of Converse Black CX’s with the orange gum bottoms with a design to relay what his city of Edmonton meant to him.
He has also had his work featured at many different art shows and events, such as the City of Victoria Mural – More Justice More Peace. Which was a mural in Bastion Square, Victoria, British Columbia, to raise awareness of injustices suffered by Black and Indigenous people.
The mural, organised by Canadian rugby sevens Olympic bronze medalist Charity Williams, was a joint effort of 17 artists that showcased culture and spread messages through art, painting individual letters that came together to spell “More justice, more peace.”
“Be Bold” is Jamelle’s mantra and logo of being unapologetically you, loving who you are and spreading love to others. Through his work he’s been able to inspire, set an example and shine light on the important issues that need to be talked about.
Jamelle Davis is an inspiration as a man, a father and as a leader in his community.
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